The Great American Trailer Park Musical

This little-known musical is tremendous fun in its own right, but the extremely talented and energetic cast of The Great American Trailer Park Musical make it engaging for a full 90 minutes. Slick, well-rehearsed and laugh-out-loud funny, the show lived up to the professional standard the performers had clearly been trained in.

Go along and have a blast: this must be one of the most fun musicals to be seen this Fringe.

The students of the MGA Performing Arts Academy have big shoes to fill: this well-known Edinburgh college sends consistently showstopping musicals to the Fringe every year. This performance will not disappoint their fans. Fantastic costumes, a whole array of wacky props and (mostly) well-executed redneck accents serve to transport us to a trailer park in Florida. The set did feel a little minimal and slapdash, but the light design was well-judged for the show’s aesthetic.

Paying scant regard for the fourth wall, the cast uses the space well, integrating the audience into the farcical plot with frequent direct address. Three residents of the trailer park talk us through the ups and downs of the story of an extramarital affair, and despite not being particularly linked to the tale itself their narrative quips and reactions – and the reactions of the ensemble – are what makes the show so strong. Charmaine Leitch and Alisa Biggersatt are gifted comic actors, but it is Megan Jarvie, as Betty, who steals the show with a stage presence and singing voice which suggest great things for her future.

The weakness in this show rests with some of the minor characters. While I cannot fault any of the ensemble’s singing or choreography in terms of accuracy, some performers failed to captivate the audience in the same way as the main trio. Georgia Fish, as the stripper Pippi, while a competent singer and dancer, seemed a little uncomfortable as an actor, and Alistair Robertson’s solo as the violent Duke was rather lacklustre. This may have also been a fault of the sound levels: at times music drowned out the singing.

Having said that, is every single performer shone in the group numbers. My favourite moment was The Great American TV Show, where the triple-kill skills of the entire cast are put to good use. Having them on stage the whole time was a great decision, and I did not manage to catch a single member of the chorus dropping character despite relatively long periods of inactivity.

Go along and have a blast: this must be one of the most fun musicals to be seen this Fringe.

Reviews by Elliot Douglas

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★★★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Hit musical exploring the relationships between the tenants at the Armadillo Acres Trailer Park in Florida, particularly between Pippi, the stripper on the run, the Dr Phil-loving agoraphobic Jeannie, and Jeannie’s tollbooth-collector husband Norbert. Beyond Broadway Productions return to the Fringe with another smash hit musical following their five-star success with Zanna, Don’t ‘Vibrant and fast-moving musical – highly recommended’ (FringeReview.co.uk) ‘Colourful, comical… unashamedly camp’ ***** (AllEdinburghTheatre.com).

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