Round Up: A Beatles RockBand and Loves I Haven’t Known

Musical theatre is just one of the many delights of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the variety of tuneful shows on offer this year has created an exciting programme full of vigour and vitality, providing a real spice of life for visitors to the city.

Brand new Scottish musical Secrets Hidden in the Beatles RockBand presents two high school friends who, years later, meet again back in the basement playing RockBand, and is co-written by David Edment and David West. The original concept was generated in response to the celebrated American writer and composer Andrew Barrett. Beatles RockBand enables the central protagonists to discuss and share their secrets once more, revealing a hidden truth that will strain and indeed test their friendship to the limit. The musical contains much humour, balancing this with genuine sentimentality in the exploration of friendship. The ethos of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is to champion anyone who has a story to tell with a venue willing to host them, and Beatles RockBand hits both these specifications. It has just received five stars from the Edinburgh Guide, with its co-writers looking to tour the show following the Festival due to the immense fun they have had collaborating.

Loves I Haven’t Known provides a different take on relationships as a new musical comedy from Bush and McCluskey, the creators of the Fringe sensation TONY! The Blair Musical. Their unique selling point revolves around the fact that no two of their performances are ever the same, in collecting stories from each audience in advance to then part-spontaneously work them into the show. Such a different and more literal interpretation of ‘engagement’ through romantic misadventure demonstrates the sheer variety and imaginative nature of the festival. Individuals’ missed chances and roads untravelled feature heavily in Loves I Haven’t Known, with lost loves forming the crux of the production.

Blending theatre and comedy, Bush and McCluskey have created a narrative musical that provides all the big, expected laughs of a stand-up gig in their first full-length show as musical theatre writers and performers. The pair aim to tour the production in as many theatres and arts centres as possible in 2013; Bush and McCluskey’s musical comedy is expected to be seen all over the country, and a reading of their new musical Cafe-Nation is hoped to be staged as soon as possible in order to see it in production within the year.

From just two examples of the vast stretch of productions available at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – and C venues in particular – it’s plain that the festival is awash with culture, daring innovations and engaging projects. There is sure to be a production to suit every palate, be it all-singing, all-dancing musical theatre, or slightly more reserved physical theatre or spoken word. There is sure to be a show that will stay with you until this time in 2013.

Secrets Hidden in the Beatles RockBand plays at C venues – C eca until 26 August. For more information, visit www.Cthefestival.com.

Loves I Haven’t Known plays at C venues – C Nova until 18 August. For more information, visit www.bushmccluskey.co.uk/love.

To book tickets for either show or for more information, visit www.edfringe.com.

Image 1: Secrets Hidden in the Beatles RockBand by New Celts Productions

Image 2: Loves I Haven’t Known by Bush and McCluskey