There are certain shows at the Fringe that build a reputation even during a short run and this one easily falls into that category. Initially booked in for just ten shows on the Free Fringe it was always going to be popular – so much so that this reviewer could not get in (after booking a space) due to the capacity being reached and all this during a lunchtime slot at 13:00. Thankfully the run was extended, albeit at an even earlier time of 11am.
A sold out command performance worthy of a concert stage.
Performer Richard Shelton is well known for his acting career on stage and screen. In the UK he played Dr Adam Forsythe in long running soap Emmerdale and then in the West End as Frank Sinatra in Rat Pack Confidential. In the US he is known for his role in House Of Lies. More recently he was seen in the movie My Week With Marilyn but for his return to the Fringe after five years this was purely about his synchronicities with Sinatra.
His moves, looks and voice all help to convince this audience which is clearly made up of the certain demographic who clearly love the man and his music. Mid way through the set Shelton changes into a tuxedo which looks like it was tailored for him – except this one once belonged to Sinatra himself. How this came about and how he came to tour as Sinatra, recording in Hollywood in the same studio, meeting with the Sinatra family and visiting Ole Blue Eyes’ home are all revealed in this well programmed story of coincidences. The songs of course are superb, from his a cappella pitch perfect Strangers In The Night, to his love song to Ava Gardner In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning to his rousing show stopper (Theme From) New York New York.
This is a sold out command performance worthy of a concert stage and as a free show in the cellar of an Edinburgh pub it’s a steal.