Review: Jury Play

Learning by experience is arguably the best way to understand. Here Grid Iron in association with the Traverse Theatre, give us the opportunity to see, hear and feel a murder trail through the eyes of a jury.  I’ve seen Making a Murderer and watched bits of Oscar Pistorius’ lengthy court drama and I like many others believed the business of a murder trial to be gripping and fascinating. Not so, for we soon discover in this production that a high court trial is an interminably dull affair. As a staged piece it has to be clever though, to walk us through the essence of the tediousness involved, while still being entertaining. Director Ben Harrison and legal expert and writer Dr Jenny Scott ensure that this happens, simultaneously raising questions, exploring areas for change, presenting the reality of jurors’ journeys and making us laugh – a lot more than you’d expect with so much talk of murder.

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Review: Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard in its musical theatre form first saw the light of day at the Sydmonton Festival in 1991. Andrew Lloyd Webber had long used the private festival in the grounds of his home, to test the viability of new shows, before a private audience of theatre and media bigwigs. This might seem irrelevant information twenty-six years on, but in this incarnation of Sunset Boulevard it’s highly relevant – the actress who played the role of silent movie star Norma Desmond, was the relatively obscure Ria Jones.

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Review: Pleading – A Play, A Pie and A Pint

A Play, A Pie and A Pint is back after its summer hiatus. For those not formula with the format, it’s fairly self-explanatory. If you do find yourself running late for the start, your pie and pint (or wine or soft drink) will still be available at the end. The Traverse Bar is a great place to hang out, so a pie and drink before or after adds to the experience and offers a cultural alternative for city workers’ lunch breaks.  

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Review: Spamalot

Spamalot has been with us for twelve years now, standing the test of musical theatre time. As one of the most successful Monty Python spin-offs, the show gives opportunity for their extensive and adoring fanbase to revel in the iconic songs, jokes, characters and silliness that made Monty Python a comic institution. Much of the show is taken word for word from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, resulting in the gloriously reminiscent experience that comes from anticipating favourite gags.  

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Review: Cilla The Musical

The musical theatre version of the life of Cilla Black has been hotly anticipated for some time. After a hit TV series featuring the songs and stories of the Liverpudlian singer’s rise to fame took the nation by storm, a stage production is bound to be high profile. There’s a plethora of biographical shows doing the rounds at the moment with Carole King and Rod Stewart’s musical life stories coming to the Edinburgh Playhouse soon, so it appears to be a format that’s here to stay.

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