EDINBURGH 2014 - BWW Reviews: THE REVIEWERS, Greenside @ Nicolson, August 15 2014
The scene is set in 1984 at the Edinburgh Fringe festival where a young and enthusiastic group of university students are performing their play "Generically Angsty". The next morning they read their reviews and the response hasn't been positive. The lead actress Keira Cochrane has been explicitly named as terrible and she vows then to come back to the Fringe one day and be a feared critic herself.
Fast forward 30 years and Keira is the reviewer that every performer fears. She is famous for not only giving one- and two-star reviews but in some cases rewarding negative stars to a performance if she thought the venue was too warm. She hires a new and enthusiastic reviewer who gives a play a five-star review, much to her horror. It is revealed that she will only award four- and five-star reviews in exchange for large sums of money.
There are some fantastic one-liners in The Reviewers and the show pokes fun at other musicals by referring to a budding relationship as "the romance used to move the plot along". It can get a little silly in places, when the new reviewer goes rogue and becomes The Critic With No Name, a mysterious figure roaming around Edinburgh and giving objective reviews but overall the humour is excellent.
Having spent the last couple of weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe I really enjoyed the tongue in cheek nature of The Reviewers. It highlights the desperation of performers to get stars to put on their posters in order to get an audience but goes way over the top (in a good way) to do so. The songs are amusing but not the sort of thing you'll go home singing and the acting is great.
The Reviewers runs at Greenside @ Nicolson until August 23rd.