[Enter title here]

Oct 2 2016 | By More

EUTC to stage [title of show]

By Thom Dibdin

Edinburgh University Theatre Company strikes out with the unusual occurrence of a musical at its Bedlam headquarters to set off the Autumn term.

It’s not any old musical, however, but Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen’sTony-nominated Broadway four-handed post-modern deconstruction of musical theatre: [title of show].

The cast of EUTC's [title of show]

The cast of EUTC’s [title of show]

The production’s director, Charlie Ralph, told Æ that he chose to take on the show because, although he is a fan of musical theatre – he directed EUSOG’s Pirates of Penzance – he is disappointed in the lack of options when it comes to creating them.

He said: “The two Edinburgh University musical theatre companies, EUSOG and Footlights, both require large scale productions with big casts, tight schedules and huge production values.

“Being a fan of none of those things, I wanted to find a musical I could do with just a few experienced musical theatre performers and a very simple set and musical backing. This would mean we could create something fun, that we love, on our own schedule and without the pressures of a big production behind it.”

[Title of show] is about two struggling writers, Hunter and Jeff. They write a musical – about them writing a musical. In it, with the help of two actress friends Heidi and Susan, they chart the journey from initial idea to debut Broadway performance.

mind-bogglingly meta

It is a mind-bogglingly meta construct, and Ralph says that the company is really leaning into that aspect. Set manager Anna Zhigareva is hand-making all the props and set dressing with cardboard and papier-mache to create a heightened reality for the show to be performed in. The props are then being drawn and painted by the cast themselves.

It is not, however, a show which only fans of musical theatre will appreciate according to Ralph. He said: “while a few of the references may go over people’s heads the amazing songs and the jokes can be appreciated by everyone.

“The references are integral to the realistic portrayal of these characters but Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen are smart enough writers to know that not everyone in the audience will be a musical theatre buff.”

Ralph is being reunited with Will Briant as MD for the show. Briant was MD for EUSOG’s Pirates and also for the company’s 2016 fringe production of  Spring Awakening.


Ralph is positively brimming with enthusiasm for the cast he has been able to assemble for the show. James Strahan and Ewan McAdam who take on Jeff and Hunter were both in Spring Awakening, while Eleanor Crowe who plays Heidi will take the lead in Edinburgh University Footlights’ 2017 production of Urinetown and Lucy Evans who is Susan, starred in EUSOG’s productions of The Mikado and Little Shop Of Horrors.

“I’m so impossibly excited about the talent we’ve assembled,” says Ralph. “As it is such a small cast and there is such a large well of incredible musical theatre performers in Edinburgh student theatre, we’ve got some of the absolute best.”

Listing and links

[title of show]
Bedlam Theatre, 11 Bristo Place, EH1 1EZ
Wednesday 5/Thursday 6 October 2016.
Daily at 7.30pm
Full details and tickets on the Bedlam website: www.bedlamtheatre.co.uk.

Facebook event: www.facebook.com

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