Islander: A New Musical (4 stars)

Islander: A New Musical

Charming family-friendly musical with a timeless narrative

Aswell as offering audiences the opportunity to see theatre from all over the world, the Fringe gives Scotland a chance to show off its own culture and heritage. In this whimsical, folk-lore inspired musical, audiences are treated to a side of Scotland most people don't get to see; the isolated and close-knit life on the islands.

The story sees a village community having to decide whether to stay on the island of Kinnen, or move to "The Big Land". Meanwhile, the bubbly but lonely Eilidh discovers the body of a whale and a mysterious girl who seems to have appeared out of nowhere.

The narrative has a fuzzy nostalgia to it and a script infused with obscure Scots language. The beautiful staging is entertaining to audiences of any age; the looped vocals and clapping create a score that is a cross between Laura Marling and Alt-J. The minimal design and Amy Draper's direction are a reminder of how inventive and modest musicals can be.

Actresses Kirsty Findlay and Bethany Tennick's flowing performances switch between the various characters of the islanders seamlessly. It's a tale of friendship at its heart, and even though it's a tale that audiences are doubtless familiar with, the result is enchanting.

Summerhall, until 25 Aug, 10pm, £8–£15

Islander: A New Musical

  • 4 stars

Helen Milne Productions Eilidh stares out to sea and dreams of a new life beyond her lonely island. Myth and reality collide when the tide washes a mysterious stranger onto her beach, changing her life forever. Epic storytelling, intimately staged with a contemporary Scottish folk-inspired score. The cast live-record…

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