Edinburgh Music Theatre has a long history of musical performances at the fringe. Last year’s Copacabana was a sell out success, so good things were expected from this year’s recital. This festival they have gone for a medley of Disney hits, all of which we probably know and love. From “Be our Guest” (Beauty and the Beast) to “Circle of Life” (The Lion King) via “The Bare Necessities” (The Jungle Book) they sang a catalogue of favourites. On the whole the singing is technically competent (with nerves causing a couple of wobbles) but there is very little power or emotion coming through and, with the exception of the start of The Lion King’s “Can you feel the love tonight”, there is little of the comedy that is evident in many of the songs.
This group work best when performing true musical theatre. A non-chronological, unrelated mixed bag of songs does not allow them to perform to their true potential. The four Lion King songs, which they end on and are adapted from the 1999 Broadway show, are more suited to the company – with “They Live in You” finally providing some of the drama that lacks throughout the show.
Clever use of a very small performance area (with no backstage to speak of) should be applauded. However a couple of members of the company need to remember that Disney is fun and break into a smile once in a while! Overall if you are a die hard Walt Disney and musicals fan you will probably enjoy this, but there was a definite lack of Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah…