Youth Music Theatre UK are setting new standards in musical theatre at the Fringe with their gloriously rich production of Goblin Market at George Square.
Goblin Market is based on Christina Rossetti's Victorian poem, which tells the tale of two girls, Laura and Lizzie and the goblins who sell exotic fruit. At its time, it was considered an important social commentary on the morals of Victorian women, and is also rich with Biblical imagery. This is a fairytale in the style of Bros. Grimm but delivered with more than a nod to Stephen Sondheim.
Conor Mitchell's score is excellent; rich and clever. And a full orchestra delivers it - unusual for a Fringe performance. Recognisable motifs, jagged rhythms and dissonance combine to create a multi-layered and glorious sound.
The cast are freakishly talented. Don't let their age put you off; these kids are every bit as professional as a West End production. Their extraordinary discipline is obvious as the background action is as flawless as the leading players are superb. Song after song is powerfully delivered, with dramatic structure and confident voices that belie the ostensibly 'youth theatre' nature of this production.
If musicals appear anywhere in your Fringe diary this year, make sure this one is at the top of the list.