Expecting a retelling of the Greek myth, the office set is initially a little confusing. Atalanta by Mira-Rose Kingsbury Lee is the Harvard Dramatic Club’s Edinburgh Fringe debut, and the society sure makes an impression.

Atalanta nods to the composers of the Golden Age of Musicals

It’s 1969, and the Atalanta Post is struggling to stay afloat as more and more papers close around New York City in the face of a television and cable news boom. After interference from her mother, Sarina Lemonde (Sophie Garrigus) is installed as the first female president of the newspaper, and sets to work on improving its coverage, ruffling feathers along the way.

The United States has a great musical tradition, and we can really see the influences of some of its greatest composers in this musical. From Cole Porter to Stephen Sondheim to Lin-Manuel Miranda, Atalanta nods to the composers of the Golden Age of Musicals and inserts itself alongside their work. Go-Getter is reminiscent of You’re The Top from Anything Goes, Daniel would fit into Sunday In The Park With George, and Someone might as well be Hamilton’s Non-Stop. The timeline of this show lines up with the Stonewall riots of June 1969, which are mentioned in the song Stonewall! However the subject isn’t really expanded on beyond that one song, and its placing in the musical basically suggests it’s unimportant and a distraction, almost using the riots as a dog-whistle to appear relevant. Considering the scale and importance of this moment in LGBTQ+ history, it seems almost insensitive to mention it so casually or as a way to make the musical ‘politically meaningful’. Kingsbury Lee should think hard about the song’s inclusion and whether devoting more time to the subject is called for.

Henry Wu - the company's pianist during the musical - deserves a lot of praise, not only for accompanying the cast but for his efforts in trying to play quietly enough that they would be heard above the accompaniment. This is due to the fact that the cast is very unbalanced in terms of who can project and who cannot. I was sitting in the 3rd row of the theatre and I could barely hear or understand the lyrics most of the time. They’re good singers and actors, if a little restrained in their performances, but their enunciation and projection is very poor.

Atalanta shows a lot of promise; it’s a very good musical that is very committed to exploring the situation of being a woman in a position of power. Some further development of relationships, characters and score would be helpful towards improving it. Hopefully it has a future and one day we’ll be able to properly hear what is happening onstage.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Katerina Partolina Schwartz

Queen Elizabeth Hall

The House with the Chicken Legs

Lyric Theatre

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Eventim Apollo

Iliza Shlesinger - Hard Feelngs Tour

Park Theatre London

The Time Machine

The Stand Comedy Club

Rachel Fairburn: Showgirl


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

New York, 1969. Sarina Lemonde is an editor at the struggling Atalanta Post, with no plans to shake up her quiet, respectable life anytime soon. But one night, it all goes upside down: her wealthy estranged mother sweeps back into her life, her closeted husband begins an ill-advised affair with her boss, and Sarina is unexpectedly installed as the first female president of the Atalanta Post. Harvard’s Fringe debut, Atalanta combines jazz, hip-hop, and rock in a smash hit which earned a standing ovation every night of its sold-out Boston run. 'Hats off… a touching story that sticks' (Independent).

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £35.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets