Benet Catty Productions

Studio 54 - Edinburgh 2010

Aug 16, 2010

Whatsonstage **

Fans of drum machines and camp could find their desires satisfied in this loose re-setting of Othello in the infamous 70s club Studio 54. There’s jealousy, betrayal and drugs all over the dance floor before the show’s inevitable climax. The sexy young company give it their all but unfortunately it takes more than male biceps and female buttocks gyrating to disco beats to make a hit as this box-ticking musical disappointingly demonstrates.

Pastiche quickly becomes rip-off. I identified “I Need a Hero” and “Summer Night City” amongst the songs, and the repeated use of Arlene Phillips’ choreography from Saturday Night Fever becomes trying. The lyrics come straight from the cliché thesaurus (there’s lots of talk of mountains, valleys and promised lands) while the script goes for soap opera bathos (“for the first time I love me and it’s because of you”).

James Cohen plays the lead, Jake, with terrific charisma and Luke Baker’s handsome Cassio also stands out amongst this motley crew of vain misfits. At one point someone says “don’t go projecting your insecurities on to me, you jealous fuck”. Quite.

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