Tag Archives: Richard Marsh

REVIEW: Phoenix – Pleasance 10 Dome, Edinburgh

If you’re looking for a creative team of infinite quality and a performer of prodigious talent (sometimes rare at The Fringe), then look no further than Richard Marsh and Jessica Sharman’s musical play, Phoenix.

Marsh and Sharman’s enviable track records include Marsh winning a Fringe First Award, a BBC Audio Drama Award, and a run in the West End with previous show Dirty Great Love Story, and in Sharman’s case, co-writing Ward Thomas’ record-breaking No.1. Country album Cartwheels.

This play is so much more than its simplistic blurb. It’s a big story in a small-sized show. On the face of it, it’s a tale of a wannabe rock star for whom fatherhood subsumes his hopes and dreams of stardom, but its themes are much greater than these few words, instead delivering a highly-relatable story of love and sacrifice.

There’s an elegant fluency to the writing, the beautifully constructed script has a completely developed story arc, fully rounded characters, all interwoven with some expertly crafted songs, and all packed into a 70-minute running time. The combination makes for an irresistible, gripping, funny, life-affirming show.

In a piece of master casting, multi-instrumentalist (guitar – electric and acoustic, keys, drums, looping) singer and actor Andy Gallo  plays Ash, and proves to be a rare find. He manages to perfectly pitch the gamut of emotions required of this marvellously layered tale, all the while banging out tunes on a plethora of instruments and singing. He has the audience transfixed from the start.

This is an astute piece of theatre. Well thought out, cleverly crafted and refreshingly surprising. This is the perfect five-star start to this year’s Fringe.

Runs at The Pleasance 10 Dome Edinburgh

Aug 3-12, 14-26





REVIEW: Edinburgh Fringe – Dirty Great Love Story, Pleasance Dome

This review was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews

Writer: Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna

Director: Pia Furtado

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★★★

Calling something sweet, heartwarming and charming can be sounding the death knell for a production at the Fringe, but that might be this fantastic little piece of theatre’s unique selling point.

Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna combine drama and poetry in this rom-com in rhyme – Dirty Great Love Story, the ballad of two hopeful, hapless romantics who: “get drunk, get it on, and then get the hell away from each other.” This is a tale of what love is like in the real world: messy, awkward, complicated and fun. The story of falling in love with your best friend and all its embarrassments, and told from both (very different and highly amusing) sides.

The simple staging focusses the attention fully on the performance and Bonna and Marsh show great versatility throughout, seamlessly switching roles to play all the fully-developed supporting characters. The whole thing is done with great warmth and heart and by half way you could feel the energy of the audience willing them to get it together, and to its credit it manages to keep the belly laughs coming throughout.

If you are a fan of Richard Curtis movies then this has all the elements to please you and if you’re not then there’s the great one-liners, fine comic timing, inventive poetry and fabulous acting of Bonna and Marsh to delight in. This show will guarantee you’ll skip into the street with a smile on your face and your faith in human nature restored.

This is well-paced, sublimely well-written with a whole lot of heart and well-worth seeing. It’s nice to know that romance, however messy and complex as it is, is still alive and well in 2012. Highly recommended.