Showcase 2018

Sep 26 2018 | By More

★★★☆☆     Fun and Eclectic

Church Hill Theatre: Tue 25 – Sat 29 Sept 2018
Review by Sarah Moyes

The biggest songs in rock, pop and musical theatre are celebrated in Showcase 2018 on at the Church Hill Theatre until Saturday.

Since it started over 25 years ago, Showcase has set the bar high when it comes to putting on entertaining productions and this year’s show doesn’t disappoint. It’s also raised over £270,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support so far, an impressive total that everyone who works on Showcase should be proud of.

Showcase 2018 Matt Fullerton and company. Pic Ryan Buchanan

Matt Fullerton and company. Pic Ryan Buchanan

The show opens with Make Your Own Kind of Music. It’s an enjoyable enough, but the show well and truly begins with a collection of songs dedicated to the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber from well-known classics including Jesus Christ Superstar and Cats.

His most recent musical venture is marked with two songs from School of Rock which opened on Broadway in 2015. The ensemble put on their school uniforms for the rock anthem Stick It To The Man with its loud and rebellious chorus led by Jimmy Redmond, before Clare Henderson sings a beautiful version of Where Did The Rock Go?. Unfortunately, despite an impressive vocal performance, there are moments where Clare’s voice becomes lost behind the dominant live band.

It wouldn’t be a celebration of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music without a nod to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Andrew Edmonstone gives a very powerful performance of Close Every Door in front of a stage lit up with technicolour spotlights.

As we enter the glitz and glamour of the 1970s in the Gods of Glam section of the show, there’s a variety of costumes on stage which sadly look more like a dodgy fancy dress party than a convincing snapshot of the decade. That aside, it’s a very entertaining and lively section with full chorus performances of Spirit in the Sky and Tiger Feet, a welcome contrast to the ballads which have come before.

refreshing and current

It’s back to the world of theatre next with songs from Time and West Side Story, but it’s the Hamilton medley that really stands out, a refreshing and current variation to the more traditional theatre songs. Harry Dozier shines as he raps his way through The Room Where It Happens, a fantastic way to open the medley which works perfectly alongside Claire Smith’s hip hop choreography.

Showcase 2018 company. Pic Ryan Buchanan

Showcase 2018 company. Pic: Ryan Buchanan

The highlight of the medley and the whole first act is without a doubt Found/Tonight, a collaboration between The Story of Tonight from Hamilton and You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen. Both Harry Dozier and Keith Kilgore give strong, confident and emotional performances that really set them apart from the other songs in the set.

This first act comes to a close with a trio of songs from Les Misérables, with the ever popular One Day More closing the act to a rapturous applause.

It’s time to enter the circus as the second act opens with a tribute to The Greatest Showman – it’s loud, bright and upbeat as the film’s opening number The Greatest Show echoes around the theatre accompanied by an array of colourful costumes and entertaining dance.

Elsewhere, Jacqui Mills gives a really moving performance of Tightrope, and while Emma Clarkson and David Bartholomew both give a solid performance of Rewrite The Stars, the softer parts of the song are again difficult to hear over the band.

Scottish Songwriters

Scotland has some incredible songwriters and it’s great to see Musical Director David McFarlane include them in this year’s show under the Scottish Songwriters section. David Bartholomew kicks things off with an excellent performance of Midge Ure’s If I Was before he’s joined by a tartan clad chorus for Mary’s Prayer, and Kym Robertson gives Annie Lennox a run for her money with a beautiful version of Why.

Gaynor Boe and company. Pic Ryan Buchanan

Gaynor Boe and company. Pic Ryan Buchanan

The finale section is a mixed bag full of music from current songs, new musicals and famous weddings. Jennifer McIntosh shows off her stunning vocals on duet You Are The Reason with the equally excellent Andy McGarry, before the full chorus launches into Waving Through A Window from one of Broadway’s newest musicals, Dear Evan Hansen. There’s a spirited rendition of one of Bay City Rollers’ most famous songs Shang-A-Lang, and Harry Dozier blows the audience away with an utterly flawless performance of Stand By Me.

It’s back to The Greatest Showman for tonight’s closing number, This Is Me. It’s big, bold and hugely entertaining and a great way to end this year’s performance.

Once again, Director Andy Johnston has put on a hugely enjoyable show filled with an eclectic mix of songs that everyone will enjoy. Sure, there are a few moments where the vocals are lost behind the band, but overall it’s a very entertaining show.

Running time: Two hours and 35 minutes (including one interval)
Church Hill Theatre 33a Morningside Road, EH10 4DR
Evenings: 7.30pm, Matinee Sat: 2.30pm.
Tickets: Click for details.

Showcase Website:
Twitter: @ShowcaseEdin.
Facebook: @ShowcaseEdinburgh.

Showcase 2018 The finale. Pic Ryan Buchanan

The finale. Pic: Ryan Buchanan


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Comments (2)

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  1. Cannot wait to hear Harry Dozier sing Stand By Me… He sang The Dark Island at my 70th birthday and it was wonderful.. Go Harry… X

  2. Heather Henderson says:

    I absolutely loved the show tonight, everyone was amazing & it was really good to see the men all singing together quite a few times & I really enjoyed the end song “This is me,” it was so good seeing everyone on stage enjoying themselves & I was so proud of my daughter Clare Henderson singing her solo & getting such a good review so thank you