Yesterday I headed into the city to do something I had (somewhat surprisingly) never done before - see a fringe show! Some lovely people who've created a musical called "Big Shot" invited me to come and review their show, and I was thoroughly, thoroughly impressed! Despite a slight delay in starting due to some technical faults (it didn't bother me - for some reason I was allowed to sit and watch the cast warm up and do mic checks!) the show ran very smoothly and professionally! The cast, crew and band got on with any little problems in a super chilled way; I didn't even notice that the piano wasn't working for the whole of act 1 until the writer, Lauryn, told me at the end!
Let's have a chat about the cast - there were only eight cast members in total (along with a six fabulous musicians in the band!) but I think any more would have made it less intimate and more crowded. Donal Brennan really is wonderful as Jeremy (a big shot lawyer who's never lost a case), and had managed to perfectly combine the two sides of the character - a stony-faced man completely absorbed in his work, but also a soft hearted man who falls in love with an Irish girl in a coffee shop (how beautifully clichéd, I love it!). Not only was he great to watch, he also had a voice to match - who knew he could belt out some of those fantastic numbers in act two?! I had the pleasure of talking to Donal after the show, and he seemed so genuine and down to earth - he didn't seem to know how good the performance he'd just done was!
Jade Young - what a girl! Her character, Carrie (an Irish artist trying to get her pictures to sell in New York), gradually came out of her shell throughout the show and Jade portrayed this wonderfully! Her entire performance was flawless from start to finish, from her awkward and creepy relationship with fiancé Hank (Gavin MacDermott), to her sweet (yet still quite awkward) relationship with lawyer Jeremy, to her emotional ending (which I won't write about for fear of spoiling the plot!), Miss Young gave a stunning performance and sang beautifully to match!
Seán McMahon played Frankie, Jeremy's rich and somewhat eccentric friend, and I have to say - he absolutely stole the show! His comic timing was absolutely perfect, allowing him to brighten up the show in a few of the darker, deeper moments - he really was the Mercutio to Brennan's Romeo! Yet again, he had a wonderful voice, and his onstage chemistry with Niamh Chambers (Viv) was both charming and hilarious. Talking of Niamh Chambers, her New York accent was absolutely perfect - had I not heard her talking with a very Irish accent before and after the show, I could have easily believed she was American! She completely nailed Viv's sassy attitude, and, along with Seán McMahon, really lifted the show with their funny little conversations, and a particularly funny song (that I just can't remember the name of!).
The space they had at the London Irish Centre really was tiny, but they made use of it perfectly! The choreography worked really well in terms of space and levels, and it was surprisingly easy to imagine their locations from scene to scene considering the lack of conventional set and props!
Big Shot runs at the London Irish Centre as part of the Camden Fringe until Saturday, so if you've got a spare evening then I would highly recommend getting yourself down there!
I'm 100% sure this show will get much further in the future, so I look forward to seeing what happens next!