City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Whisky Kisses

By Gordon Clayton - Posted on 10 August 2008

Show details
Royal Scottish Academy of Dramatic Art
Running time: 
Euan Martin and David Smith (book and lyrics), Jim Bryce (music), Andrew Panton (director), Hilary Brooks (musical director)
Brennan Cuff (Ben), Stephanie Lynd (Mary), Chris Dixon (Jeff), Zhu Qi (Yomo)

Described as a work in progress, Whisky Kisses requires extra ingredients to seek the perfect blend. The story of an about to close distillery trying to auction off its last prized bottle of "Glenigma" to collectors follows an old path of Scots trying to outsmart wealthy overseas men with money.

As you would expect, students at this famed Academy reach a really high standard of performance whether it it is singing, acting, dance or dialect. Zhu Qi from Shanghai plays Yomo, a son on a mission on behalf of his dying father, and impresses throughout, but particularly in the solo scene on top of the mountain. Brennan Cuff as the NY moneyman has an excellent presence as well as a singing voice that seems destined for shows that will stretch him more vocally. Stephanie Lynd has a demanding role as Mary, the distillery owmer, that covers various emotions and her scenes with Samanthe Blaney as Alice worked well.

Your eye, however, is drawn to Chris Dixon as Jeff everytime he is on stage with a really good performance as the harassed p.a. with an eye for a guy in a kilt. The music was good, with the arrangements by Hilary Brooks evocative of the highlands. Sound, lighting and costumes were good but do rescue teams carry umbrellas?

I felt that the story drew too much on past productions and without mentioning the Scottish musical, there were shades of Geordie, Local Hero, and Whisky Galore. The missing ingredient was a lot of humour; what was there was, was very gentle and sometimes the timing was a bit off and a good line fell flat. Some of the Scots characters struck me as Chewin' the Fat meets Take the High Road. However, an audience member from North America commented, "What a great show," so this may be a Scottish thing!

Times: Aug 12, 14, 16, 19. 21. 23. 25 at 16:00