Image courtesy of Chalmers Butterfield.
The Edinburgh Footlights took to the stage at the Magnusson Centre at Edinburgh Academy to sing and dance through some of the most beloved West End hits, as well as up-and-coming shows yet to make it to the biggest theatres.
The opening number of The Book of Mormon’s ‘Hello’ was perfect, with Fraser Mycroft doing a terrifyingly convincing impression of an overly earnest American evangelist. The rest of the singers, with similarly eager fake smiles, added to the hilarity of the song. These bigger group songs broke up the smaller groups and soloists with favourites like ‘Footloose’. The performance of ‘Candy Store’ from the increasingly popular new musical The Heathers was no less exciting. The group numbers were fun, strong, and extremely well put-together.
Particularly noticeable were a few of the more frequent soloists, whose strong voices lifted the ensemble even when they were one of 20 singing. Charlotte Jones had a vibrant and beautiful voice; her ‘At Last I See the Light’ (Tangled) and leading role in Sister Act were captivating, and even when not in a leading role she raised the singing of the rest of the group. Calum McPherson’s ‘Bring Him Home’ (Les Miserábles) was no less powerful, with McPherson showing off his skill and robust voice.
The production was, however, not flawless, largely due to a series of sound and lighting issues that conceivably resulted from the group’s lack of experience in those areas. Some of the quieter voices could often not be heard over the blaring music, and the lighting effects sometimes started almost a minute before the music, leaving the audience staring at rhythmically changing strobe lights in silence. However, these less-than-ideal effects could, on the whole, be ignored thanks to the excitement of the performers. The Edinburgh Footlights are a talented group, creating an ensemble that was just sheer fun.