City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Missing Mel

By Gordon Clayton - Posted on 14 August 2008

Show details
Youth Music Theatre: UK
Running time: 
Pete Gallagher (director), Conor Mitchell (music director), Tony Mills (choreography), Kath Burlinson (author), Conor Mitchell (music and lyrics)
Jasmine Dey (Cat), Ashley McIntosh (Paula), Jamie Wilson (Ryan), Roly Harrad (Adam), Oliver Smith (Josh), Rebecca Turner (Lauren)

Powerful performances impress in this fly-on-the-school-wall musical about the effect of a teenager going missing on her fellow students. The cast of around forty were drawn from auditions involving a thousand young people from all corners of the UK, and have produced a quality show after ten days of intensive rehearsal.

The initial performance had preview status, but the cast came out singing with a force that nearly blew the audience away. There are a few big numbers in this show that have the potential to be memorable show tunes. The storyline covers a range of contemporary issues for young people at the top end of high school.

Jasmine Dey excels as Cat, the art student consumed with self doubt and estranged from fellow pupils. Ashley McIntosh is convincing as the self centred go-getter, Paula, ably supported by Lauren Osbourne as the shallow Jessica. Jamie Wilson as Mel's ex and Roly Harrad as Adam are also very good, with Roly's vocals a highlight. There is a sub-plot about bullying that features a number of excellent cast members and away from the constraints of the fringe, this could be developed to perhaps illustrate the downward spiral of despair that the victim feels. There are other recognisable groups from every high school - the sports kings, the computer game nerds and the pink/cerise ladies.

One of the problems of having such a talented cast is that they all want a piece of the action and at times the size of the chorus and the quantity of different individual voices in numbers is almost overwhelming for the audience.

This may not be the hard hitting or thought-provoking storyline promised, but it is a highly entertaining show relevant to the issues facing young people today, delivered by an energetic and talented cast.

Times: Aug 14-16 at 11:30, plus Aug 15 at 20:30