Review: Showcase

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If there’s an amateur musical-theatre organisation out there that can combine inclusiveness, entertainment, community spirit and talent with such passion and vigour – well, they’ll have a hard job competing with Edinburgh’s Showcase Musical Productions.

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Now in their 24th year treading the boards, this week’s run at the Churchill Theatre is so varied even someone suffering from attention-deficit syndrome would find it wholly engaging.

Kicking off with a medley of 80s Scottish pop, there was more tartan on stage than a kilt factory for the opening seven numbers. The producers may have anticipated an independent Scotland in pre-production.

Ibiyemi Osinaike’s soulful rendition of This Is The Moment from Jekyll and Hyde was a scene-stealer during the film/ show tunes, and credit to Lynsay Magro for making the 4 Non Blondes’ What’s Up sound fresher than the proverbial daisy. Old stagers Peter Tomassi and Keith Kilgore, meanwhile, proved greying rockers still have it with we-are-worthy versions of Pinball Wizard and Stairway To Heaven respectively. But that was before Tanya Williamson nailed it on My House (from Matilda) during the second half.

Unsurprisingly, the funkier tunes – Pharrell Williams’s Happy and Daft Punk’s Get Lucky – seemed to get everyone into a collective groove, and it’s fair to say a whistle-stop tour of the swinging 60s was favoured by the, erm, more mature members of the audience.

Even some professional groups would be envious of Showcase’s work-rate, delivery and commitment. A couple of things, however, would improve things tenfold. The orchestra’s drummer, for example, needs to stop overpowering the individual singers. And the more inventively choreographed and stylised pieces would stand out more if there wasn’t such a fixation to pack as many people as possible onstage.

Nevertheless, the Showcase – like any good wine – seems to get better with age. Go along and have a taste.

• Run ends tomorrow