The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - One4Review
one4review | On 25, Aug 2013
4 stars ****
The Spelling Bee makes a welcome return to the Fringe and this is an excellent production of it. A Bee is a very American peculiarity – to spelling competitions what Glee is to singing competitions.
We have a group of dysfunctional youngsters plus some poor audience member volunteers who take part in a knockout spelling competition. Everyone, including the adult quizmaster and host have issues and one by one we get a nicely crafted insight into their characters and family issues. Thankfully this production never slips into parody and despite all the characters’ flaws, we always feel for them rather than laugh at them. We do laugh with them though, quite a lot!
The audience participation this night was excellent – putting the cast to their test as they could actually spell! Nicely done, made them work!!!
The only downside was that the cast were often quiet and occassionally pitchy during solo songs or monologues and could really have done with mics (meaning the excellent band could be louder). Group numbers were very good.
Direction and choreography were excellent and used the space very well – and even got the audience volunteers dancing. A very enjoyable production.
Review by Alan.
Paradise in Augustine’s
Until 26th August, 17:55-19:15