Dogfight follows the exploits of three marines who are about to be deployed in the conflict in Southeast Asia. These boys are putting on a "dogfight", to see who can bring the ugliest date to the party. Thistle N’ Thorn Productions takes on this musical, by Pasek and Paul, composers of Dear Evan Hanson and The Greatest Showman with fierce enthusiasm and solid technique.

Takes on a Pasek and Paul musical with fierce enthusiasm and solid technique

This production followed the original story fairly closely, whilst having both a simple set and orchestration. They also created a slightly larger ensemble than you would see in some versions of the show, which was absolutely no detriment to the story.

The level of performance was fairly apparent from the first full number, Some Kinda Time.

The cast are incredibly energetic, throw themselves into their parts and are singing with charm, however, I could hear the harmonies crunching in certain parts where they shouldn’t be. Generally the ensemble cast did a good job supporting and would rarely distract or mess up their parts, as well as being honestly enjoyable to watch. It was just unfortunate that at times in their solo moments I felt slightly drawn out of the show, due to lack of character.

The leads were understandably the standout performances in this show. Scott Binnie as Eddie put on the best performance, his vocals were rarely shaky and he managed to reach the high notes in Come Back with extraordinary clarity and precision. His performance was full of emotion, but he also brought the necessary charisma, especially when alongside Riodha Walsh, playing Rose. Walsh also put on a great performance and her solo was another incredible display of talent and vocal control.

The show suffered slightly from being cut down from its original two hours and ten minutes, to the hour and a half that was performed. The pacing sometimes felt slightly rushed, however, I only noticed as the show concluded that I felt like something must have been missed. Overall, this is a good amateur performance of Dogfight and it’s possible with a few more runs under their belt, they could have something that would be far more difficult to fault. As it is, this is still a truly enjoyable watch.

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Reviews by Tom Rolph

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The Blurb

1963: On the eve of their deployment to Vietnam, a group of young American Marines devise a cruel bet. The rules are simple: pay $50 to throw a party and the man with the ugliest date wins the pot! But when Eddie chooses Rose as his date she rewrites the rules of the game and his last night turns into a lesson on the power of compassion and kindness. With soaring music from Pasek and Paul this hauntingly beautiful show is based on the 1991 Nancy Savoca film of the same name.

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