Swing!

4 Stars

****

Lauren Benstead’s musical comedy bounces along with a pile of toe tapping songs and saucy humour. Set in the apparently mundane middle class village of Wafthead, the tennis club is the centre of village social life offering gentle exercise and quiche. However, beneath the genteel surface, there is back biting and win at all costs ambition.

With a cast of 12 performers, the storyline is convoluted, but the essential elements of musical comedy are present. The teenage love interest is in the capable hands and voices of Matthew Ferdenzi and Meg Powell-Chandler. The villains of the piece are played by Amy Anzel, a sultry divorcee, and Tom Lyle, her arrogant son.

The songs, backed by a five piece band, are a mix of styles ranging from jazz to tango. A couple of numbers especially caught my attention. The opening song features Marcia Brown, Dolly Alderton and Rebekka Bowling as tennis addicted tennis mums and the closing song is a risqué duet featuring Neil Canfer as Willy Straddlebottom, the hunky coach, and Calum Melville, as a TV presenter, expressing their coming  out as gay partners.

Lauren Benstead, as writer and director, has served up a slick, fast paced and entertaining production

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number – Gilded Balloon Teviot; V14

Dates – 4 to 30 August 2010 (not 17, 24)

Times – 16.00 to 17.15

Fringe Programme Page Number: 220

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