This review was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews
Book, Music and Lyrics: Andrew McGregor
Director: Michael Howell
Musical Director: Lindsey Miller
The Public Reviews Rating:
Who would have thought that the less than glamorous Scottish port town of Greenock would be the setting for a musical? But hey, this is the Edinburgh Fringe and as we know, anything’s possible here.
Bobby (Ryan Paterson) is a 24 year old dreamer, desperate to be a writer but fed up with his humdrum life – no job, no girlfriend and no pals. But his luck changes after a near-death experience when an angel appears offering him the chance to turn his life around, finally achieve his dreams and reach the moon – but at a price.
Towards the Moon is a brand new show from Andrew McGregor, one of a group of musical writers emerging from Scotland. New it may be, but the Faustian pact is as old as time, McGregor manages to keep it fresh by making our anti-hero an ordinary Joe and updating the setting to the present day. The piece wears its Scottish influences on its sleeve and anyone who has seen a Bill Forsyth movie will spot the parallels.
It is very much a work in progress: the storyline is simplistic and the music needs work to give the performance some variation in tone, but real potential is there. The skill of the performers also helps to energise the piece: Paterson breathes life into the character of Bobby and is helped by an appealing performance from Kylie McMahon as best pal Mags.
Despite the flaws, it’s a positive start from writer McGregor. There’s real warmth and charm here and it’s certainly a chance to see the beginning of successful careers for the actors who are the cement that holds this show together. Again the Royal Conservatoire prove that a quality performance is assured where you see their name.
Runs until 26th August