Theatre Preview: How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Church Hill Theatre

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NINETEENTH century London, that’s where Edinburgh Musical Theatre (EMT) found themselves last year when they staged Sweeney Todd.

The year before they could be found exploring the AIDs-stricken underbelly of 90s New York in Rent. Twelve months earlier, the decade that taste forgot had found them fancy free in Footloose.

Formed in 1982, with the aim of performing large-scale musicals, EMT has a record of staging shows rarely tackled by the Capital’s other amateur companies.

In their 2013 production they zoom back to the swinging Sixties to discover How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which opens at the Church Hill Theatre tonight.

Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows’ Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of J Pierrepont Finch, a young window washer who, with the help of a book entitled How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, rises to become chairman of the board of the World Wide Wicket Company.

Along the way he meets a host of characters, including JB Biggley, the boss of the company; Rosemary Pilkington, a secretary and potential love interest; and Hedy LaRue, Biggley’s attractive but dim-witted mistress.

What ensues is a comedic battle of the sexes, with musical numbers that include Brotherhood Of Man, A Secretary Is Not a Toy and the titular, How To Succeed. Kenneth Pinkerton, who plays JB Biggley in the production, says. “Over the last couple of years, our shows have been a bit on the darker side and this year we wanted to do a show that was fun and refreshing. How to Succeed... is definitely that.

“We’re delighted with the great cast and production team who have certainly pulled out all the stops to produce a fantastic show.

“It’s got rivalry, jealously, comedy, tap-dancing secretaries and some fantastic songs. What more could you ask for?”

How To Succeed... first opened on Broadway in 1961 and was made into a film in 1967. More recent revivals have seen Matthew Broderick and Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role of J Pierrepont Finch.

Adam Scott Pringle plays the lead in the EMT production, supported by Pinkerton’s Biggley and Emily Goad as Rosemary Pilkington and Josephine Heinemeier as Hedy LaRue.

Other principles include David Doherty as Bud Frump, Cavell Knowles as Smitty, Caroline Hood as Miss Krumholtz and Julia More as Miss Jones.

If you want to get ahead, let EMT show you how.

How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Church Hill Theatre, Morningside Road, tonight-Saturday, 7.30pm (2.30pm Saturday matinee), £10-£14, 0131-228 1155