Review: Leaves on the Line at theSpace at Surgeon’s Hall - Ed Fringe

Review by Charlotte Leamon


6 individuals embark on their journey from London Kings Cross Station to Edinburgh, Scotland via train, where unexpected friendships and relationships are formed as we learn more about these characters. A weary mother, stressed train officer, struggling actor, lost teenage boy and backpacker get on the 3:00pm train and soon begin to meet one another.

The set included chairs and suitcases that belonged to each character, but also labelled the several stops for the train trip. This was clever, as the train officer would pick up the appropriate suitcase and face them towards the audience. The first song was well written and well choreographed, as they used the suitcases around the stage to create patterns and a fun, busy looking environment. The song spoke about the trip they are about to embark on, and once it was over they all manage to board the train. We firstly get acquainted with the mother named Issey after she complains about someone talking on the phone in the silent carriage, and comically proceeds to pick up the phone from her husband. Issey discusses coming home soon and how her mother in-law is unhappy that her Scottish son married an English woman. She then sings about her troubles, and how she cannot identify herself anymore as her life has become tedious with her job and looking after her daughter. Moreover, Issey can’t enjoy the hobbies she used to such as reading, and this ballad both lyrically and musically perfectly betrays this. Her voice was tired and lost from the previous performances, which made for a rusty performance and some notes to be missed. However, given the Fringe circumstances I understand this and reward her for doing so well despite a lost voice.

The next character to be introduced was called Liv, and played by Liv Jones. Georgia the backpacker started friendly conversation with Liv and once they discovered she was an actress, they started asking many questions. Liv soon became tired of the incessant questions and assumption that she should have made it to a particular point in her career by now. In Liv’s solo performance, she got to show off her wonderful tone and diction, as well as demonstrate an emotive performance. The choreography of using phone torches as light was effective and smart as they were relevant throughout the show, and it added choreography and lighting changes. After this second ballad about her troubles of becoming an actress, we are introduced to Evie. In summary, Evie has been looking for love for a while which allows for a very fun live tinder swiping moment where the characters put on moustaches, sunnies and more whilst introducing numerous hilarious tinder profiles. Eventually, she sees the train officer Harry. This is when she sings her fun, musical pop song including humorous puns and one-liners about her sexual desires towards him. Her excited and big energy added to the urgency of this character hoping to find the love of her life. Lastly, we hear from Matt who has run away from his dads house, as his parents are divorced. Throughout the musical we hear phone messages from his mother asking him where he is, and explaining that she knows what his father did was wrong. I would have liked to hear more from this character and his background, however his song mentions his love and appreciation for his mother. It is touching, and allows the other performers to switch between one another in acting as the mother.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this student produced musical which was comedic, entertaining and very well written, produced, directed and performed. I want to see more of this and the characters backgrounds. I hope that outside of Fringe it is extended into a longer musical that is over one hour. The live musicians were a lovely addition, and made the production seem very professional.

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