Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

1 July 2015


It's not something I think I've particularly mentioned but I love rooftops. Which is really strange, because I hate heights. But I do love a rooftop. Especially if it's in New York. This particular one isn't, but it's much closer to home for me and therefore much more easily accessible and easily enjoyable. This rooftop is on the top of the Theatre Royal in Glasgow and when I was invited to come hang out on it before being whisked off to see Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, you can bet that was one blog invitation I accepted wholeheartedly. 

Despite being a Theatre Studies student I haven't really chatted much about theatre on the blog - though I did make my 'In Support of the Arts' video for my YouTube channel following my Glasgow School of Art tour, so I have talked about it in some form, just not here. So I was a bit surprised when I got the invite through because I don't think I've ever used the phrase 'Glasgow Theatre Blog' on here, so it definitely wasn't my non-existent SEO skills (that's how SEO works, right? I just mention a phrase randomly in the middle of a blog post and google is all 'oh yeah, number 1 spot for her anytime anyone googles Glasgow Theatre Blogs!' ?!) so I'll put the credit down to the previously mentioned rangy politics and the arts video. (Long story short - support the arts because they allow for freedom of expression and give a voice to those not represented by the government.) But, despite the fact I haven't chatted much about the theatre on this blog it's something I want to change and introduce more of more regularly. 

I used to have another blog, with a different name (not saying it to sound mysterious, it's just deleted and you can't find it anymore!) but I allowed myself to get really boxed in and only blogged about fashion and beauty stuff on it. Whilst I still love fashion and beauty I named this blog 'Rose Keats' after myself so that it could be a blog that encompassed everything I could ever possibly want it to - everything that makes up my personality and my lifestyle (hence why I always classify myself as 'a lifestyle blogger') but even so I've still noticed that I've allowed myself to get bogged down in only posting content I think other people will want to read and rarely posting things just because I enjoy it (clearly need to take more of those blogger chats where 'just write about what you're passionate about and your passion will shine through' always gets advised!) I definitely want to throw off those metaphorical shackles and write about everything that I want to on this blog, even if no one else ever reads it. A lot of my favourite posts on other blogs are more random ones that are that little bit off key from the norm - so why do I feel so weird about sharing that on here?

ANYWAY, that rant aside, where was I... Oh! Yes! Writing more about theatre. I did two units over my 4 years of Theatre Studies where I had to write reviews (and, casual brag, I pulled an A on both of them) so my reviewing skills surely should be reasonable...

Firstly, I donned one of my more artsy and bohemian ensembles - which is now ALL ON SALE after I bought it all full price and took this long to getting round to blogging it (though I have been wearing it non stop so I'm not too gutted!) my H&M trousers, H&M bodysuit, Topshop Mac, my desperately-in-need-of-a-clean Mulberry Bayswater and some converse. I usually wear this outfit with heels which makes it a bit smarter and more pulled together but the converse added a little laid back vibe to it - in my opinion anyway!


You'll have to forgive some of those faces I'm pulling - haven't done outfit pictures in.... a long time. I will get back to doing it more often, I promise! 

Anyway, after I suitably dressed myself we arrived and were escorted up to the top of the Theatre Royal to experience to rooftop bar and to be plied with some rathe delicious nibbles and all-too-drinkable wine. I'm hoping to get a tour of the theatre organised so I'll leave it there for now on the new extension, but it is incredibly lovely and I encourage you even to stop in for a drink if you're not attending a show! 

The time for the show was drawing near and so our carriages (taxis) arrived outside and we headed over to The King's Theatre for the show - Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.


I'll confess I have never seen the film which this is based on and neither had Scott, so we had no expectations but if we did have I'm sure they'd all have been met.

The set was minimalist yet beautiful and perfectly evoked the elegance of the by-gone day of Riviera holidaying, the type of holidaying you see in those Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe films where, despite being on holiday everyone looks perfectly pieced together and no one has a selfie stick to hand i.e. the times I wish I lived in. It probably goes without saying then that the costumes really harked to that Irvine Berlin era of musical, elegant but with great old school sparkle, which there isn't really enough of in my opinion - and if you can't put sparkle into a story about a couple of soundrels scamming money along the coast of expensive destinations from rich tourists, then when can you put in some sparkle?!

The score is probably one of the most diverse I've come across in a life long love of musical theatre - in that it changed from song to song. There was no hook, no continuous melody - nothing that I could say defined the sound of this show. Whilst the lack of definition might make it sound negative it meant that you were never bored, it didn't feel repetitious and, having gone not knowing the songs, I had the joy of never knowing where the score was going next. Scott's main complaint from the recent Into The Woods film was that every song sounded the same (just putting it out there - they didn't, but I can understand why those from a non theatre background might hear them all the same, personally I loved Into The Woods!) and this show was as opposite as you could possibly get from that. I giggled all through Oklahoma and All About Ruprecht, I wanted to waltz my way through Nothing Is Too Wonderful To Be True, my heart soared through Love Is My Legs and broke during Love Sneaks In, whilst Dirty Rotten Number was just the perfect culmination. 

As for the cast? All excellent! The dancers and singers from the chorus were all completely on point and it's so easy to forget to appreciate it when the ensemble is perfection but these guys were so on it that you couldn't fault to notice them. And as for the main three characters, they managed to take some really scheming low life thieves with no morals seem totally loveable, so props to them (and maybe props to the writing too for that one!)  

Michael Praed as Lawrence was perfectly suave - something very Richard Gere about him (translation - I might have fancied him a bit! Those perfectly cut suits from the costume department definitely helped!)  and had I been one of the women he fed his sob story to at Beaumont-Sur-Mer he'd have had me hook, line and sinker! 

Mark Benton as Andre was hilarious. I noticed in his biography in the program he played Bottom in Midsummers, which I'd have loved to see as I think he'd have just been fantastic in that part - he certainly made us laugh out loud several times through this show! 

Noel Sullivan, formerly of Hear'Say, played Freddy in this and he was fantastic. In both Love Is My Legs and Dirty Rotten Number he sang in the way that makes your jaw drop, you know when you're listening to someone and you can't quite believe it's live and not auto-tuned? Like that. Really something special and I may have downloaded his debut musical theatre album since seeing the show!

And for the female stars - Geraldine Fitzgerald as Muriel was hilarious - the sort of role I always describe as 'A Celia Imrie' if you know what I mean - but she made it her own and made me laugh every time she came on stage. The chemistry between her and Mark Benton was just fantastic and seemed so natural and not at all forced (don't you just hate when you see a show where the actors very clearly all hate each other off stage and the whole thing becomes totally wooden?!)

And last but by no means least I need to mention Carly Stenson as Christine. Wow. She blew me away. I can't even say too much but if you see the show you'll know what I mean when I say her character arch just blew me away, her singing was absolutely unbelievable but her commitment to character was absolutely flawless. She's performed as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde the Musical, which should give anyone familiar with that show an idea of her voice - belt-y and rich - and I just fell in love. I suppose it's because I've got a very soprano, vebrato-y voice and you're always attracted to what you don't have but I'm always swept away by the power of someone who can belt strongly and Stenson really could. She just blew me away and I'm so excited to see what she does next. A fan girl is born!

If you do fancy the show check out the schedule here - it's now finished in Glasgow but the lucky thing here is that a lot of shows tend to begin in Glasgow and then tour round before coming back to Edinburgh nearer the end of the run so anyone based in central Scotland can get access to the Edinburgh leg of the tour! The shows run is currently scheduled till the end of October so there's lots of venues and chances to catch it in loads of different areas, and if you can I highly recommend you do!



4 comments

  1. Looking beaut lady! Love the mac! I've never been on the roof of the Theatre Royal but looks lovely and like the sound of the show too, so will try to catch it when it heads over this way xx
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  2. Love your outfit Roisin!

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