Broadway Baby

Beautiful - The Carol King Musical tickets

Cover is a show about lies and manipulation. That much becomes evident at the start when brothers James and Billy lie to their father and to the women they have secretly brought back to his flat to sleep with, accidentally on the same night. James' date Rebecca and Billy's girlfriend Mags complete the dysfunctional foursome whose lives are based on lies. As the night progresses the lies come out, and the masterful execution of a familiar theme surprises the audience with every consequent revelation.

Ed J. Smith’s witty and sardonic script is supported by a talented cast. The brotherly, friendly, and romantic relationships come across as very realistic. Nina Shenkman shines as the incessantly overbearing Mags, delivering a deeply nuanced performance. She had me in tears as I struggled to control my giggles. Director Harry Williams positions his cast expertly in the small space so that they simultaneously face each other and the surrounding audience throughout. The blocking establishes an intimate atmosphere as the audience feel that they are in the flat, which increases the effect of personal scenes of lying, fighting, and overheard sex.

Both couples arrive at the flat having just seen The Artist, and the influence of silent film and mime are evident in a few strobe-lit routines. Although the cast moves in and out of them seamlessly, the purpose of these sinister moments is obscure, and they end up adding little to the performance.

Some poignant ideas seep through the lines without overwhelming the show; Maggie’s animal-themed nicknames for the other characters are a constant reminder to the audience of her often-repeated phrase ‘we’re all animals in the end.’ These prompt the audience to consider whether lying is a conscious form of manipulation or an unavoidable, instinctive, gut reaction. DugOut Theatre has produced a fiery new production that deserves a wide audience.


Venue Number 145. C venues - C nova, India Buildings, Victoria Street,Victoria Street, EH1 1EX. 2-27 August 15:20 (55 minutes). Suitability: 12+

The Blurb

Award-winning DugOut Theatre return to the Fringe with a dark comedy directed by ISDF-nominated Harry Williams. 'The group bristles with talent ... all of them will make a mark in theatre' (Stage). ***** (ThreeWeeks). ***** (FringeReview.co.uk). **** (Guardian). www.dugouttheatre.com.

Call Sheet

Production Company
DugOut Theatre


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