Pleasance Opening Gala

August 8th, 2015
Pleasance Grand

by Bernie C Byrnes

There is something awe-inspiringly cool about the Pleasance Gala launch. Maybe it’s the thumping bass at 11am, the light show, the buzz or the rare chance to see a large Edinburgh Fringe Venue full to bursting that makes for an exciting event, but it all adds up to the feeling akin to sneaking into your big sister’s party undetected. Pleasance’s reputation is built on 31 years of quality programming, so the anticipation that greets their launch is, unsurprisingly, high.

Comedian Hal Cruttenden (Straight Outta Cruttenden, Pleasance Two 20:00) compered with a steady hand on the reigns. The line up kicked off with the Broadway glitz and glamour of Robert J Sherman’s new musical Love Birds (Pleasance Two 12.35) – a lovely fluffy number featuring kick-ass singing and tight choreography. Jess Robinson (The Mighty Voice, Ace Dome 21:40) skipped through an impressive array of impressions at lighting speed. Personally I find all impersonators to be a bit Mike Yarwood in the 70’s but there’s no questioning her talent. Watch out for the stand out Kate Bush singing Postman Pat and Julie Andrews singing All About the Bass.

Young Pleasance (The Hampstead Murder Mystery!, King Dome 13:50) are a fine example of how Youth Theatre should be. The glorious 1920’s costumes, energy, classy direction and tight choreography set off the talented young cast in what promises to be a fast-past and entertaining production.

Theatre Re’s achingly beautiful Blind Man’s Song (King Dome 15:30) brought a touch of real class to the event while Joe Lycett (That’s The Way, A-Ha A-Ha, Cabaret Bar 20:00) pleasingly lowered the tone before Balletronic (Pleasance Grand 21:30) threw it across the room with a mix of classical and contemporary musicians, elite dancers and cutting edge DJ loops and ‘electronic grooves’.

Best known for its world class comedy at the Fringe, Pleasance does not disappoint with its offerings of what Hal Cruttenden amusingly referred to as ‘vaguely interesting fillers’ showing off their broken dreams.

An excellent morning at an excellent venue.


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