Straight from Alaska comes a new piece of musical theatre from a 40-strong cast. Alaska's King Island Christmas is based upon a true story set in the 1950s when, at the time of the bi-annual docking of the supplies ship, there was a huge storm. Unable to deliver the provisions, the villagers took it upon themselves to carry the walrus skin boat over the mountains and took it to calmer waters.
It is clear throughout this 80-minute performance that the entire cast feels incredibly passionate about the story, it being from their hometown. They really enjoyed the performance. The cast is diverse in age, ranging from under 10 to over 80, however there is a true sense of community between the singers. This show is refreshingly devoid of the cold English cynicism and is a quintessentially all-American piece and one full of a kind community spirit.
It was lovely that there was such young children performing. However this, charming as it was, occasionally slightly backfired, particularly when some of these youngest members of the cast at the front were off the beat and a little unsure of the words.
A criticism that became clear from early on in the production was the ineffectual use of space as, based in a conference room, the entire cast were merely standing on tiered flooring, rather than moving around in any way.
The singing ranged from good to tolerable but the score was well written. In the end, it all sounded quite similar and there was more than one occasion when the lyrics were totally lost within the acoustics of the hall. It was a moving and admirable effort but perhaps didn’t translate perfectly from the USA to the Fringe stage.