Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (4 stars)

This article is from 2018

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

credit: Robbie McFadzean/Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Musical version of 1980s film is loveable romp

There are student shows and then there are Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student shows, and each year at the Fringe, the difference is marked.

Not only does RCS throw a lot of resources at its big musicals, in terms of staging and professional behind-the-scenes staff, but the on-stage action (and backstage musicianship) is all top-notch.

This year they've taken on Jeffrey Lane and David Yazbek's musical adaptation of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the 1988 film starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine – and it's a blast.

Two conmen, one refined, one less so (played here with comic aplomb by Derek Dishington and Jacob Bedford) lock horns while fleecing unsuspecting rich women on the French Riviera. A wager is decided to see who should leave town, and gullible soap heiress Janet Colgate (a very convincing and adaptable Sorrel Brown) is the target.

No spoilers here of the fabulous plot-twist, but suffice to say it's satisfying in the extreme. As is the post-modern script, which is peppered with funny outside-the-show quips that pop up unexpectedly. All singing, all dancing, all witty, and (happily) an hour and a half longer than most Fringe shows, this is ticket money well spent.

Assembly Hall, until 26 Aug (not 20), £14–£15 (£11–£12).

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

  • 4 stars

Musical family farce, based on the hit 1988 film. Life is good for Lawrence Jamieson. The season has provided a steady supply of wealthy, gullible women to con on the French Riviera. But the arrival of lowbrow hustler Freddy threatens to scare them all away. They agree on a little healthy competition – the first man to…