City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The Prodigals Review

By Gordon Clayton - Posted on 12 August 2011

Prodigals Cast
Show details
Running time: 
Joe Harmston (Director), Ray Goudie (Creative Producer), Natalie Murdoch (Choreographer)
Aaron Sidwell (Kyle Gibson), David J. Higgins (Colonel Gibson), Lucie Jones (Kelly), Marc Mulcahey (Mike Gibson)

Explosive, stunning, riveting just three words that sum up the ‘The Prodigals.

This is a one hour trailer for a longer show and I for one can’t wait to see the full version! Seasoned Fringe-goers are wary of commercial shows with names from TV programmes, but this is a musical that puts a knot in your stomach such is the tension and impact of what you are watching

The story locates the parable of the two brothers in an army setting and in the current war zone that is Afghanistan.  Interestingly, it’s a Scottish regiment with a nod to Black Watch and Tunes of Glory.

One son is a gifted singer-songwriter, living a high life of excess and success having left the army. The other son, the elder brother by four years, is a captain in the regiment in which their father is a colonel.  The father watches his boys make their own lives.  While the father’s regiment battles to destroy heroin poppy fields, his son Kyle fuels his band’s gigs with drugs and his life and that of his co-singer Kelly are on a downward spiral. 

Although Lucie Jones and Aaron Sidwell are very good this whole cast oozes professionalism. The ensemble have some of the best lines and moves in what is a slick production using military manoeuvres as well as the more obvious choreography of the big  rock concert.

Staging centres on a cage that is used very effectively to simulate various buildings, a cell and air transport.

David J. Higgins is outstanding combining the military bearing with a father worrying about his errant son. The dutiful eldest son is played very convincingly by Marc Mulcahey and the soldiers led by an entertaining sergeant are just brilliant.

21st Century pink ladies provide an entertaining antidote to the military precision of most of the scenes.

Aspects of the show remind you of other productions, but that does not detract from the overall impression that with the goodwill to the army and another early death of a popstar that in ‘The Prodigals’ Joe Harmston and Ray Goudie have a musical whose time has come. With some character development and some love interest they could be there.

While the debating hall at Teviot Place is not a small venue, the house was half full and the show deserves a better audience. Although an expensive show to stage, in the context of the Fringe ticket prices are perhaps on the high side for just over 60 minutes.

Runs til 29th August,  5pm

Tickets range from £7.50 to £15

I thoroughly enjoyed the show and thought the subject matter was very current and timely. I have not been to the Fringe to years but would most definetly return to see this. Cant wait for it to be at the West End- Well done to Ray Goudie