Shrewsbury School has a reputation for successfully staging ambitious, new musicals at the Fringe. This years production of The Bubble, although wholly appropriate for the current economic climate, is not entirely new, having been previously brought to Edinburgh in 2002.The musical is based upon the true story of the South Sea Bubble of 1720. The South Sea Company had been given a monopoly of all trade to the south seas. Shares in the company immediately began to rise, and false stories were put about by the companys directors to encourage more and more people to buy, believing that they would make huge fortunes with no risk attached. In five months the shares went from £175 to over £1,000. Then the bubble burst.The hero of this story is Martin, a lad from Shropshire who is in prison facing execution for undermining the countrys financial system by causing the collapse of the South Sea Company. He tells us his story, beginning with his arrival in London to seek his fortune. During his time in London, Martin meets Polly, a country girl from Runcorn, whom he tries to help. He also gets to know the playwrights John Gay and John Rich, who are trying, unsuccessfully, to write a play and are hoping to raise the money for it by buying South Sea shares.As ever with Shrewsbury School, this is a slick and professional production with a very large cast. The music is complex and inventive and the standard of singing is high, particularly in the ensemble works. The costumes are colourful and authentic, and even include several changes for the leading characters. This is another excellent, well-chosen musical.