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Review: Pandemonium at the Space on the Mile – Ed Fringe

Review by Olivia Ruggiero

Pandemonium is brand new musical based on the mythology and legend of the afterlife and the battle of good and evil. This 45-minute adaption of a longer musical is a wonderful slice of this innovative and fascinating new piece of theatre. Cameron Lythgoe’s score is fresh and funky - packed full of tunes worthy of a grander stage and fully fledged orchestra to play it through. This cast of 6 tackle multiple roles each in this adaption and I can see how this show could use a larger cast to tell the elaborate story. It would be lovely to see 7 actors play the Virtues and 7 different actors interpret the deadly sins so that when they come face to face with their counterparts, Lythgoe’s stunning harmonies can be heard in full and glorious force. The choreography is stunning. Jam packed with contemporary and musical theatre style numbers the cast are a very talented ensemble of dancers who use their skills to physicalise the story and the characters. It’s an incredibly tight and well-rehearsed piece but still feels exciting and new, as though the cast are truly living and breathing in their characters shoes. Again, it would be so awesome to see a full ensemble back the leading players of this piece in these elaborate dance numbers so they can be witnessed in full effect. The cast are well matched in vocals, they are definitely stronger in dance but when they come together in vocal ensemble numbers, the piece soars. Standout mentions belong to Isabella Eve Monk who has an incredibly strong stage presence - it’s hard not to watch her as she dances and sings her way through each number with incredible energy and finesse. This small and intimate venue is a perfect setting for this Fringe adaption of the show. The voices are unamplified which is not a problem in this venue as the volume of the backing track has been well adjusted, however there are times when we lose the occasional word – a symptom of the Fringe, I suppose.

The show is packed with fabulous costume changes and some excellent costume design – it’s a wonder how they get changed so quickly. The costumes cleverly reflect the different character’s the actor’s play. White, parchment like clothing reflects the virtues, and black, gothic, edgy clothing symbolises the muses. The small additions of a blue sheer dress and headpiece for Lilith and the red shirt that Natas changes into as he reveals himself as the Devil are clever visual cues to help the audience along as the actors play their multiple roles.

This is a very clever and well-thought new show. I would love to see the full version and Lythgoe’s vision fully realised. This show works as a Fringe show but could soar in a full-scale version. I hope it finds an audience and further developments after it’s run in Edinburgh. Well worth the price of a ticket if you’re looking for a new contemporary musical to see at this year’s Fringe.

Image Supplied


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