Above are some production shots from Payback – the Musical, which is currently playing at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. Press night was last Friday, and my review is available on the Musical Theatre Review website.
Another review for Musical Theatre Review, this time for Ruby in the Dust’s The Great Gatsby at Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios.
A fringe musical of F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby could never compete on scale or budget with Baz Luhrmann’s $100 million-plus Hollywood adaptation. But nor should it attempt to – and Ruby in the Dust’s production wisely shuns trying. Instead, the limitations inherent within Fringe theatre become its greatest strength, focusing on the crumbling foundations on which the façades of hedonistic 1920s opulence are constructed.
As I found out when watching a student production of Dear Brutus last year, there is more to author and playwright J M Barrie than Peter Pan. Even then, the story of The Boy Who Never Grew Up – as originally written, rather than as the Disney version and numerous panto versions have painted – seems to have themes which Barrie’s other plays also share, mixing comic observations of middle class life with supernatural occurrences.
Here the story is centred around the Morland family, whose daughter Mary Rose once disappeared on a family holiday to the Hebrides, reappearing three weeks later with no knowledge that she had even been away. As a dashing young sailor approaches her parents to ask for her hand in marriage, they divulge the mystery that they have kept secret from her. And, several years later, the couple return to the island, Mary still unaware of the episode from her past – when the island starts calling to her again…