The premise of this musical is that four professional actors share their insights into the scary world of auditions. The problem is that based on this show I would struggle to give a single one of them the part. Auditions – created by Michael Sharmon as a collective of his personal experiences – follows the achievements and struggles of the actors as they divulge anecdotes and advice which only an expert could know.

How did Auditions go? No callback this time, I’m afraid.

As the first jarring chords of the synthetic backing score blared out of the speaker I realised that this musical was going to be cheesier than a toasted sandwich. Shortly after followed the floods of overexerted facial expressions and uncomfortably dramatic arm movements. Corny jokes and excessive prop changes ricocheted violently across the Sweet Grassmarket stage, before a pink-sequined and lacklustre attempt at a finale ushered us out of the door.

In terms of musical ability, it was evident that each of the cast could sing, and Sandra Waters’ sensitive vocal portrayal of Vivian landed particularly softly on the ears. I was surprised to discover the large number of accolades the cast hold between them – Ralion Alonso, who played Lee, was a former Disney lead vocalist in Hong Kong – and between them they have enough theatre credits to cast the entirety of the West End. Sadly, on this occasion there seemed to be a clash between the performers and the material – a lack of engagement I believe stemmed from the superficial nature of the content. Olivier-winners would struggle to bring any sort of genuine meaning to the musical numbers Best of Luck and Who I Am, and the result was a shallow production.

Fusing together song, short dialogue and soliloquies wasn’t enough for redemption, though, and the piece failed to convince on any sort of meaningful level. How did Auditions go? No callback this time, I’m afraid.

Reviews by Matthew Sedman

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The Blurb

Auditions is a musical about four performers dealing with fame, ageism, sexuality, selling out and having a sustainable career in the arts. Acclaimed author Sarah Brennan describes it as 'spell binding... poignant... searing... with humour aplenty'. The show leads you through the lives of the four characters’ audition experiences. After selling out in Asia, the critically acclaimed musical will have you laughing and crying when it hits the Edinburgh Fringe. With songs ranging from rhythmic lyrical masterpieces, to show-stopping Broadway numbers, this original musical, presented by Golden Voice Entertainment, touches the heart strings of everyone who sees it.

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