It always interesting when the fringe guide promotes a late night musical. In the past I have found that these tend to be the grittier offerings from the musical theatre canon.
Oscar’s Eleven productions have brought Salome to the stage for a short run at the fringe. However it is clear that this show comes across as being far from ready for an audience to watch. The story of Salome (based on Oscar Wilde’s controversial play) is somewhat convoluted, but it seems to revolve around a Greek god and mystical figures indulging in sins of the flesh.
The show is being performed in a smallish theatre, so it is unclear why the entire 16 strong cast felt the need to wear head mics. This bad decision is emphasised by the mics being left on and the audience hearing the chat from the actors in the dressing rooms backstage.
The sound is obviously interfering with the lighting rig leaving a humming noise throughout the production. The shows score which is all pre-taped and piped in via the sound system is a cross between Jesus Christ Superstar and Spring Awakening. That said the amount of repeated motives pulls the show down musically and the actors often come in too early and have to catch up with the click track.
Individual performances are on the whole, not too bad, Edward Bartram is compelling in the role of Herod Antipas giving a great sense of a man who gets what he wants. The cast combined can deliver a strong melody, but this would have worked better without the overuse of the microphones which spoil the show.
There were points where various members of the audience left as they either couldn’t follow the story, or had enough of listening to what was going on backstage. The show lacks a clear sense of direction in its storytelling and the use of music and song isn’t enough to save what would be a nice niche show.
With the technical element overpowering the show, a story that lumbers along, the 1 hour and 15 minute running time feels a lot longer. This is one show which needs major work done to stop its audience from leaving the theatre long before the final curtain.