Ordinary Days, 5 Stars

Ordinary Days, 5 Stars
C – Royale, Studio 1 (Venue 6)
Further Info

“Following the parallel lives of four New Yorkers struggling to find meaning in the madness: Claire, who can’t let go of her past; Jason, determined to begin their future together; Warren, an artist who’s lost his sense of purpose; and Deb, a student who’s lost her thesis notes. A witty, poignant, and ultimately very relatable story about human connection and finding beauty in unexpected places.”

There’s something very special about “Ordinary” – you just have to look for it. That’s the underlying message of this beautiful musical. The musical premiered in 2012 and with 21 musical numbers shows how 4 people living Ordinary Lives in Manhattan connect in the most amazing ways.

Streetlights, People! Productions have brought their London production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where they’re enjoying sold out performances and critical acclaim. With a cast of 4 this well directed production (directed by Jen Coles) is a little cramped in Studio 1 at the C-Royale venue, however, within minutes they carry you away to the skyscrapers, museums, streets, taxis and apartments of the city that never sleeps.

Rarely does the painist play the notes the cast sing, and he doesn’t need to, this experienced cast act through song bringing their characters to life with the pianist adding much greater depth to the music. The harmonies are tight and the book is carried without script. Yes, this version does not have, or need, narration through script, it’s already there in the lyrics! This wonderful cast and production team should be very proud of this production!

Sparkly eyed tall, dark and handsome Jason (Alistair Frederick) falls in love with Claire (Kirby Hughes) and unusually for Manhattanites they move in together. Anyone who’s lived in NYC will tell you – leave some clothes and toiletries at your signifcant other’s, but don’t move in! It’s a no-no. Like all who move to New York, Deb (Nora Perone) has goals and ambition. Warren (Neil Cameron) on the other hand takes a more retrospective view. With this mix of characters and clashes a window opens for us to view their differences.

It’s a challenging venue to light. The ceiling is very low and even with many many lights in the ceiling it’s difficult to create even coverage for the actors. Lighting Designer Geert Rigters manages to get some isolation, seperation, passages of time and expression out of the house lighting rig. It’s a small intimate venue and with the Cast so close microphones aren’t necessary and we can hear them and the keyboard perfectly well!

A formidable array of costume changes accentuate changes in time and location, and also reinforce the characters’ personalities as they choose what to wear and when. This was particularly impressive!!!!

This is a musical with a whole lot of heart! It’s “Sex and the City – the Musical.” There’s laughter, angst, frustration, joy, love and best of all – plenty of ballads to enjoy! If you can get a ticket you’re lucky! Get one here in Edinburgh before this Musical hits the West End and you can’t afford to go see it!

Alistair Frederick

Nora Perone

Neil Warren

Kirby Hughes

Review by Richard Lambert