Ami and Tami
- Kelly Apter
- 15 August 2017
Clunky musical fails to live up to its potential
This adaptation of Hansel and Gretel started life in Israel then moved to America, performed as both a staged piece and concert orchestra, to considerable acclaim. So I can only assume that somewhere along the line, something has gone seriously wrong – because the show that has arrived in Edinburgh barely scrapes the one star this review has gifted it.
Mátti Kovler's score is passable enough, played here by the man himself on the piano. But Aya Lavie's book is so filled with inaccessible words and terms, especially for a British audience (SATs, CEOs and all manner of business speak) that children will barely be able to keep up. Though clearly, the main target for these sections is the parents, in a subtle-as-a-sledgehammer subtext about worrying less about climbing the corporate ladder and spending more time with your kids.
Sadly, this is the least of the show's worries. More concerning are the performances: a narrator who behaves as if she was handed the script for the first time just seconds before the show started, with a wooden delivery that's faltering at best, mistimed at worst. An accordion-playing 'imf' with a falsetto voice that serves only to annoy, and a group of young children (cute as they may be) who reduce the entire production to a primary school performance, strictly for adoring parents only.
One of the show's few saving graces is Tutti Druyan, whose fine acting and strong vocals at least give Ami a sense of believability as she heads into the forest to escape her domineering mother.
With so many other fine shows for children at this year's Fringe, do not send your hard-earned pennies this way.
Underbelly, until 24 Aug, 10.30am, £9–£10 (£8–£9).