Porgy and Bess

This is probably the most stunning and gorgeous show I have ever seen in Edinburgh. There are many wonderful singing voices. The multimedia approach is an absorbing triumph. The big screen is sometimes whole, sometimes split and sometimes concurrent with the action. It accentuates many emotions – from the comedy of the flying fish to the anguish of a new widow, and to the raging storm and a drowning within.On top of excellent sets and costumes there is the dancing, which heightens and enlivens many moments. If you think that elegant, poised break dancing is an oxymoron, you should see the opening moments of the second half of this show.Many of us will know the story. It’s summertime in Catfish Row – and the famous lullaby Summertime is soon heard. It’s Saturday evening, and a crap game is in progress. The people are poorly paid workers – fisherman, farm workers, and some like Sporting Life who deals in ‘Happy Dust’. Crown is a bad guy, Bess is attached to him, but the disabled beggar Porgy is fascinated by her.Life is tough, and punctuated by tragedy, but the warmth and solidarity of the community keeps people going. Violence son breaks out; Crown kills Robbins. This leads to the only intrusion by the white world – the police and their abusive interrogations.The dancing is a real joy, and when the cast spread all around the auditorium for ‘I Can’t Sit Down’ I wanted to be up and join them. All those who saw this show will have had an evening they will remember for a very long time.

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

Summertime and the livin' is easy... It's a balmy evening on Catfish Row; a hypnotic heat permeates the calm. On the horizon a storm is brewing. Porgy and Bess, set in a nondescript, crumbling tenement on the waterfront in the deep south of the USA, is a story of broken dreams and faded hopes; of dignity and betrayal. It is a poignant tale of a decent, lonely man called Porgy and his love for the beautiful, bewitching Bess. Written at the very end of the Great Depression in 1935, Porgy and Bess has become perhaps the quintessential American opera - a symbol of hope in a time that was so often hopeless; a demonstration of love and loyalty in desperate times. George Gershwin's score is full of songs famous in their own right including It ain't necessarily so, I got plenty o' nuttin and Bess, you is my woman now; songs that still capture the heart and stir the emotions 80 years after they were written. In a new production for Opéra de Lyon, dynamic choreographers José Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu capture the salty, sassy, sardonic essence of Porgy and Bess complete with state-of-the art video imagery and high energy dance. With their Montalvo-Hervieu dance company they had a huge Festival hit in 2007 with On Danse.

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £35.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets