Limelight Review: “witty, observant and heart warming”
Standing at the Box Office, eagerly awaiting entrance to the Dukebox Theatre, a smiley young man with a clipboard bounded up to me and asked if I were here to sign up for the open mic night, to which I delightedly replied: ‘Yes. I will be singing My Heart Will Go On’ ….. I didn’t get called up.
Despite this bitter disappointment (I jest, of course) I had a wonderful evening watching this brilliant new work at its world premier, written by Liz Tait, directed by Richard Lindfield and brought to the Fringe by Beside The Seaside Productions, previous winners of the Argus Angel, Fringe Review and Fringe Guru awards.
At first glance, Limelight is simply a play about a weekly open mic night at The Iron Duke Pub in Brighton. But it is actually so, so much more. We meet Felix, Jim, Kate, Lucy and Tom –musicians and comedians, all with different motives for wanting their open mic slot and smarmy music producer Jason, visiting this week to change the lives of one of the acts forever – but will it be open mic host and X Factor reject Felix, new boy Tom with bags of talent and an attitude to match, or Jim, a seemingly average normal middle aged man hiding a big secret?
I laughed constantly and was surrounded by an full audience doing the same, but the beauty really lies in the moments where we get to delve a little deeper into each character’s background and discover their own personal reasons for signing up to this open mic night.
“stellar and poignant performances”
Skillfully directed, particularly in this space, by Richard Lindfield, who also appears as aforementioned smarmy record producer, Limelight is made by the fantastic casting, each member perfectly believable in their role. Martin Malone as Jim, Stephanie Prince as Kate and Conor Baum as Felix all deliver stellar and poignant performances, as well as some excellent vocals.
Show stealers though were Kerry Williams as new and sick with nerves comedian Lucy, and Max Bower as the cocky but charming Tom, singer songwriter with the talent to be the next Ed Sheeran. Both performed their own original material which could have easily been dropped into any professional comedy club or music gig.
Limelight is witty, observant and heart warming, combining not only an excellent story, but also some fantastic songs and standup comedy, all rolled into one. This is sure to be another huge hit for Beside The Seaside Productions.