The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is celebrating ten years of musical theatre at the Fringe and in traditional style, alongside a main full scale production (this year the Addams family) they also bring a brand new piece of work. This is The Girl Who at the Spiegeltent in George Square.
The production does leave you wondering what would it be like if we had collectively made different choices. For that, this is one production to watch again and again.
Inspired by the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books and written by Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie, this is a multi-path production where the audience chooses the direction in which it goes. For instance, the Clown (Curtis Brown) asks a member of the audience to determine Anna’s fate; does she go up, or does she go down? It’s this exploration of choices- choices which can affect all our lives- that make the show so watchable. The audience is ultimately in charge of the characters’ decisions, morals, successes and failures, allowing every show’s path to be unique.
Stylistically, this is a cross between interactive theatre, Alice in Wonderland and Cirque du Soleil. Presented in the round with cast mingling with the audience, it’s almost like living in a fairy-tale for an hour that, no matter your age, you just can’t help but be captivated by.
There are strong performances from across the company, none more so that Neshla Caplan as Anna, the girl whose journey we are witness to. She delivers a character full of wonder at the happenings around us and the show’s surprising finale is played with true conviction. Curtis Brown also shines as the Clown as he glows with mystique. He is the show’s narrator that you can help but like, even when he speaks a harsh truth.
This production combines live music with interactive storytelling. There are times when the transition between scenes is a little clunky though it’s not enough to totally pull focus (a common downfall of working in the round as your attention is not just on the stage but on the entire environment around you). If these transitions were smoother then this could be truly a five-star offering from a very talented young company of performers.
Director Andrew Panton clearly has a vision for the power of musical theatre and how an audience can shape it. The production does leave you wondering what would it be like if we had collectively made different choices. For that, this is one production to watch again and again.