Six Ways

Six Ways is one of those small musicals that sends you out into the Edinburgh rain with a big heart. It begins modestly, a simple tale of three couples, three relationships, three different crises in their lives. Michael and Wendy are expecting a baby but Wendy believes that Michael is being unfaithful to her. Chris and Carly are a devoted couple but he has a gambling addiction. Diane and Daryl have a more unusual problem - she is a politician, standing for election (the blue rosette says it all) while hubby is a drag artiste, and a tenth rate one at that, whose sudden exposure in The Sun scuppers her chances of election. Well, maybe that’s not such an unusual problem after all.The lives of these three couples interweave throughout the show. There are break-ups, arguments, reconciliations, and there is a tragic death. This may not sound the most exciting or original of formulas, but wait - this is a musical about relationships that genuinely tugs at the heartstrings. Is there such a thing as the perfect partner? Or are we all doomed to compromise? How much will you put up with for love? There are some gorgeous numbers, “The Man I Used to Know” and “This is it.” being two songs that I came out into the rain humming.The secret of Six Ways is that three burgeoning talents have come together. The music by Michael Bradley is like a warm balm - and he plays it all himself, eschewing any need for a band. The lyrics are sensitively written by Paddy Clarke who plays Michael. And the book is by David Hutchinson, who has succeeded in writing a very gentle and beautiful and under-stated story. The talents of these three guys, combined with six performances by an excellent cast, have merged to create something that is quite special on this year’s Fringe. Sam Thackray is particularly good as the drag artiste husband of Victoria Hardy’s formidable politician - you feel that she would probably end up looking like Anne Widdecombe if she was elected, so perhaps it’s just as well that he puts an end to it. In his drag routine he strikes just the right note of agony and self-doubt.The audience on the afternoon that I saw this show absolutely adored it, and I don’t think they were unique. The same company present Falsettoland, which I haven’t yet seen. So - and I’ve been dying to write this into a review - if you’ve had a bad morning stuck in Edinburgh traffic cursing roadworks and an unwanted tram system, or you’re wet and cold with the August rain, head for George Square and see this new musical. They are a company to watch, and almost certainly Six Ways will touch your heart in a number of ways and make you believe in the magic of the Fringe.

Reviews by David Scott

Godspell

★★★★★

Troy Boy

★★★★

Seduction

★★★★

The Blurb

Can the perfect relationship exist? How far is a person willing to go to achieve it? Three couples battle with addiction, adultery and ambition, all the while asking whether their relationship is strong enough to survive. www.selladoor.com