City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Plague! The Musical Review

By Gordon Clayton - Posted on 10 August 2010

Fringe 2010: Plague! Graveyeard scene
Show details
Adam House
Bubonic Productions
Running time: 
Tim Frost (director/choreographer), David Massington (writer/producer), Tom Turner (musical director)
Ted McMillan (Clive), Charlotte Stevenson (Isabella), Alyn Evans (Jerry), Gareth Jameson (undertaker), Charlie Swan (Alchemist), Claire Hammett (Milly)

Advice to reviewers usually includes "avoid clichés like the Plague". While certainly not advising festival-goers to avoid this particular musical, it does not quite live up to all of its publicity hype or sell-out history of previous years at the Fringe.

Billed as a comedy musical, the production starts like Dick Whittington minus the cat with Clive Hucklefish seeking fame and fortune as an actor in London. Our hero falls foul of the low life of the city reducing him to penury. He meets up with Jerry Muldoon who gets him an unpaid job and lodgings in a coffin with his employer, an undertaker whose business is on the slow side. The undertaker has a long standing verbal feud with an alchemist who has a daughter, Isabella, who soon becomes the object of Clive’s affections with the obvious capacity for conflict between the parties.

With the help of the Rat King and his strangely dressed 1920’s Chicago rats, Clive finds an ideal business plan by inadvertently spreading the plague from one of the alchemist’s creations.

With original music, slick and imaginative choreography, the experienced cast deliver the story with skill all-round.

The dialogue is amusing, but with only a few opportunities for the audience to laugh out loud. The doubling up of parts with similar looking actors in the cast was a bit confusing from the back of the theatre. While the show was professionally staged and delivered, it was difficult to warm to, or to hate, any of the characters and therefore care about the outcome.

Show times
5-29 August (not 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 24, 26), 8.30pm

Ticket prices
£11.50 (£10.50)