By Isabella Fraser
Light on storyline but packed with Christmas classics, this is a show for you if you love all things Christmas. Ostensibly this is set at the taping – some months in advance – of the Christmas show presented by Dean Martin, with a special guest star, Frank Sinatra. With an increasingly stressed floor manager rushing around, the backstage antics of Sinatra and Martin exploring their memories of time gone by, and two dancing girls trying to prove a point, there are several strands of a story unfolding on stage.
The set and its layout are well designed – the areas are clearly defined which makes it easier for audience members to work out where the performers are when they move between different areas. With clever use of backstage areas the moving between areas is also highlighted.
Jacqueline Hannan’s Floor Manager is well performed although there are moments of exaggeration, which could be pulled back. Steve Ponton as Dean Martin has a fantastic singing voice and uses mannerisms well but the performance falters in the straight dialogue areas. Jamie Walker as Frank Sinatra has a great stage presence and is at ease with singing but is clearly at least a generation too young for this role making it jarring in comparison to other castings.
On the night of review there is a large crowd of older people, all dressed up in Christmas clothing, clearly ready to enjoy the event. The way in which they engage with those around them and on stage is a gift to the show as they make the storyline fun for everyone.
The songs are the undoubted highlight of this show, presenting classics such as Mack the Knife and Santa Baby and worth the money for the fun factor. The onstage dialogue is where the show loses focus in both believability and slightly over-lengthy underlying stories,
The Dean Martin Christmas Show runs @ 19.40 @ Greenside @ Nicolson Square until 27/08/16. Running time 50 mins.