Preview for the week: 11 – 17 January, 2010

January 11, 2010 | By More

The snow might be thawing, but Edinburgh’s stages are only slowly beginning to heat up – the first of 2010’s new productions opens at the Royal Lyceum on Saturday and a 19 year-old Fringe mega-hit returns in its latest incarnation to the Festival Theatre.

First up, the week marks the end of the line for Robinson Crusoe & The Caribbean Pirates at the King’s. Hit by controversy for Allan Stewart’s unfortunate way of referring to Susan Boyle, the pantomime has still been garnering strong reviews and even better word of mouth. There are still tickets left for the final week and if you can find one for the final performance at 5pm on Sunday, you should be in for a real hoot!

Returning for another spin round the dustbin lid, Stomp runs at the Festival theatre from Tuesday until Sunday 17th. The percussion spectacular first became a hit at the Fringe in 1991. Now a bona fide international phenomenon the producers promise that the current show has been revamped and revitalised with inspiration from their large-scale Las Vegas version, STOMP OUT LOUD. New music and choreography make use of a fresh array of mundane objects. Huge, ribbed tubes, previously used for recycling fluorescent lights, are themselves recycled into outsized Guiros, a Latin American percussion instrument, played by scraping the ridged sides with a stick. Serious noise!

On Saturday the Playhouse does a time-warp all of its own and returns to its original purpose as a film theatre as it hosts the Singalonga version of that big camp old classic Rocky Horror Picture Show. Featuring the original movie made in 1975 with Tim Curry as Frank ‘n’ Furter, Susan Sarandon as Janet, Richard O’Brien as Riff Raff and Meatloaf as Eddie, there’s a half-hour vocal warm up and incentive for dressing up – as if anyone needed such a thing – with a fancy dress competition. This has all the makings of a screaming fiesta of fun and frolics.

On a slightly less hysterical note – but no less funny – the Royal Lyceum serve up the first new production of the year with Arthur Miller’s big hit The Price (Saturday 16 January to Saturday 13 February). It’s a piece which, in the right hands, has comedy and depth, as estranged brothers Victor and Walter pick over their dead father’s belongings with furniture dealer Solomon.

There have been a few productions of the play around the city in recent years, from both amateur and professional companies. It will be fascinating to see what John Dove does with it, given his success with Miller at the Lyceum in recent years. Greg Powrie and Aden Gillett take on the roles of the brothers who look at the choices they have made over the years while James Hayes has the key comic role of Solomon. Sally Edwards plays Victor’s disappointed and pushy wife Esther.

Thom Dibdin

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