Music & movie magic

Phantom is one of the shows featured on The Ultimate Movies and Musical Experience
Phantom is one of the shows featured on The Ultimate Movies and Musical Experience

By John Murray

With Grease, Oliver and Les Mis in recent weeks Fife has had a flurry of lavish stage musicals and here we are with The Ultimate Movies and Musicals Experience (USMTV), released for Mother’s Day.

With 60 tracks on three CDs and priced at around a tenner it must be an alternative to supermarket flowers or chocs?

The current West End hits like Made In Dagenham, Once and Sunny Afternoon are represented and many major artists are here spanning the decades like Andy Williams, Barbara Dickson, Michael Ball, Tom Jones, Michael Buble, Ronan Keating and Tina Turner.

Original tracks still feature like Michael Crawford’s Phantom, Ben E. King’s Stand By Me, Jason Donovan’s Any Dream Will Do and Frankie Valli’s My Eyes Adored You from Jersey Boys.

Some original stage casts versions appear too such as Annie, The Lion King, Oliver, Little Shop Of Horrors and Mamma Mia and from the Bond movies we get Thunderball, Casino Royale and Goldfinger.

Having said that it is amazing to think of the great touring musicals just across the water.

On their 25th Anniversary Return To The Forbidden Planet has not only become a cult in its own right it has become a party for all who join in with well known songs like Heard It Through The Grapevine, Gloria, Good Vibrations and Young Girl performed nightly.

Like a growing number of feel good musicals the fans of the show often dress up as characters too and this infectious fun spills over helped by a belting soundtrack played live on stage amid the pyros and effects.

Grant Stott makes a cameo appearance too in this Olivier Award winner. At the Edinburgh Festival Theatre till Saturday (14th).

The following week the might of Monty Python comes to town with Spamalot.

Based on the Holy Grail story Eric Idle’s slapstick musical already has an inherited fan base after years of London acclaim. Where else can you sing along with thousands of others to Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life?

This touring show runs at Edinburgh Playhouse March 16–21, matinees Wednesday and Saturday.