When a show is produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, written by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), directed by Vicky Featherstone (artistic director of the Royal Court) and has “West End hit” written all over it, what on earth is it doing in a fringe festival? Hall has adapted Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos, concerning six pupils from the convent girls’ school of the show’s title who go to Edinburgh to take part in a choir contest and proceed to wreak havoc in Auld Reekie. It is raucous, raunchy and very, very rude, the sort of thing likely to have Miss Jean Brodie turning in her grave. The six, played by Melissa Allan, Caroline Deyga, Karen Fishwick, Kirsty MacLaren, Frances Mayli McCann and Dawn Sievewright make St Trinians look like a cosy tea part. And when, accompanied by a three-piece band, they transform into something like The Spice Girls + 1 and go to work on hits of The Electric Light Orchestra and others, they become an irresistible force. The show moves between very funny and hilarious, but it also finds room for poignancy with unrequited love, unwanted pregnancy and serious illness raising their heads. This is an exhilarating show and one that we can expect to hear a lot more of.
Performance date: 18 August 2015