FRINGE REVIEW – On This Island (Church Hill Theatre)


23 – 24 August
Various times, Church Hill Theatre

Part of the highly respected American High School Theatre Festival, Once on This Island is a musical based on “The Little Mermaid”. The story is set on a Caribbean island and tells the story of Ti Moune, a peasant girl, who must prove her love to the gods when she falls for a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. The musical score consists of calypso and reggae rhythms.

This production by Framingham High School Drama Company won seven out of ten awards in a Massachusetts based competition back in 2008. They then went on to prove themselves as finalists for Edinburgh Fringe 2010. It has to be said the costumes did appear more Hawaiian or Polynesian than Caribbean, and the music lacked the predicted reggae influence. However the use of purely cast members to form the scenic backdrop was skilfully achieved. This ranged from creating waves and violent storms to towering trees and walls. There were some impressive solo performances, especially by the lead Ti Moune, as well as some notable dance routines.

With a 58 member cast there was a variety of talent on show, as would be expected from such a large group. A good all round performance received by rapturous applause for this young cast.

Ticket information is on the Fringe website

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