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The Rink - One4Review

The Rink is a rarely produced musical from the writers of hits Chicago and Cabaret; Kander & Ebb. Set in a roller rink in 1970s Coney Island the story focuses on the owner of the rink, Anna Antonelli (Norma Kinnear) who has sold the rink and is awaiting its demolition, and her daughter, Angel (Gabrielle Pavone) who turns up after running away seven years earlier and fights with her mother to save the rink. The strong cast also includes the seven ‘wreckers’ brought in to carry out the demolition order. These seven also play all the other parts in the production as the story of Angel’s childhood and Anna’s fraught relationship with Angel’s father is told in flashback. Director Susie Dumbreck has chosen to set the production in the round which works well as the audience are seated around the rink and the cast enter from all sides. This has provided quite a challenge for lighting designer Grant Anderson which has been ably met. The highlight of the evening has to be the number ‘The Rink’ in the second act which sees the Wreckers performing on roller skates in a number which wouldn’t be out of place on the West End Stage and is a credit to choreographer Dougie Walker. Despite this, and strong performances from all the cast, for me this production was let down by a script which dragged at times and a lack of any memorable songs. Maybe there is a reason this is the least well known and successful of Kander & Ebb’s musicals.  ***

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