Big Band Does… Halloween | Review By Lewis C. Baird

Digital theatre comes in many shapes and sizes as we have seen over the last few weeks. One particular production I was looking forward to was Big Band Production’s take on Halloween. 

Big Band Productions are an Edinburgh based company produced by Jonnie Grant & Scott Coltman, they are well known for their superb fringe shows which present us with a lavish night of musical theatre featuring highly talented performers and a cinematic sounding band. For Halloween they have treated us with a special digital performance featuring some spooky themed songs. 

The performers featured within this digital performance are all flawless, presenting us with a mix of voices in a truly great showcase. Macauley Burns opens the digital production with a seamless, rocking performance of ‘Bat Out of Hell’ from the musical of the same name. Rachel White then performs the great number ‘Dead Mom’ from the new ghoulish Broadway hit musical adaption of the Tim Burton film, ‘Beetlejuice’. Rachel’s cover is the best performance I have seen of this very catchy number, her vocals are very much suited to its pop-rock feel. Next up we have Rachel Stanley performing the iconic Bette Midler version of ‘I Put a Spell on You’ from Hocus Pocus. Rachel radiates the wicked vocals needed to be a Sanderson sister, also not to worry she has great backing vocal sisters in the shape of Sarah Docwra and Rachel Flynn. 

Things slow down nicely when we get to Chris McLeish who stunningly performs ‘Not While I’m Around’ from Sweeney Todd. Then the production is throttled full pelt into the superbly fun ‘Pulled’ from ‘The Addams Family Musical’, which is performed perfectly by Jenny Kinnear. Jenny’s vocal precision in altering from the soft moments of the number to the difficult belts is done effortlessly. The next performance is from Caitlin Tipping who sings ‘Monster’ from ‘Frozen the Musical’. Caitlin does this flawlessly, with such emotion and vocal control, of course Caitlin is no stranger to being a Queen, seeing as she was recently Jane Seymour in ‘Six’, so taking on Elsa’s vocals in this number is no challenge. The next song is ‘With You’ from ‘Ghost the Musical’ which is performed powerfully and so beautifully by Dannielle Logan, yet again from this production this is the best performance of this song I have seen, the emotion within Dannielle’s vocals lifts the lyrics so much. 

Marc MacKinnon performs ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’ from ‘Pal Joey’, this is such an enjoyable light number which is performed with gorgeous vocals from Marc. We then move on to a hysterically funny performance of ‘Together Again’ from ‘Young Frankenstein’ by Scott Coltman. His vocals are not only superb but his physicality, adaptability and comic characteristics are highly enjoyable in this number. And last but not least is Claire Moore performing ‘Last Midnight’ from ‘Into the Woods’. Claire really embraces the freedom that comes with this digital performance, as she takes her number literally into the woods. Her great performance of this number matched with the forest visual makes this a thoroughly enjoyable final number. 

Tommie Travers is in charge of sound recording, sound editing and mixing for this production, he does an unreal job with this video in terms of managing to pull off professional studio sounding recording for a production made practically in lockdown conditions. 

For Halloween Big Band Productions gives us a stupendous, fun and thoroughly entertaining musical theatre production. Featuring a highly talented cast and a flawless song list. This is a really fun and greatly captured digital production. We cannot recommend enough that you all catch ‘Big Band Does… Halloween’ before 5th November. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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