Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh
August, 2001

***** Magnificent musical

Even if you think you'll hate students trying to be sassy New Yorkers, this production absolutely hits the bull's eye

Of course, it might be expected from the Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts (Britain's "Fame school"), playing Edinburgh under the aegis of the National Student Theatre company. But even reviewers who have admitted that this show ought to be everything they hate have been won over by Jamie Lloyd's production of the final play in William Finn's March Of The Falsettos trilogy.

Finn's musical blends sharp, knowing observational humour with the poignancy of the arrival of AIDS, as Marvin, his ex-wife living with his ex-psychiatrist, his lover Whizzer and the "lesbians next door" negotiate their way through Marvin's son's bar mitzvah and Whizzer's illness. The subject of AIDS no longer has the Pavlovian power it once did in theatre, and Lloyd does not look for power in the subject itself but rather in the portrayals of the various relationships, with Marvin and Whizzer's coupledom centre stage. Quite simply, there is not a single performance in this 75-minute show which is less than excellent. It really shouldn't work in this day and age, but it does, beautifully.

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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