Fife theatre company ready to conquer the capital at this year’s Fringe

Drowsy Chaperone is being brought to this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe by Kingdom Theatre Company.
Drowsy Chaperone is being brought to this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe by Kingdom Theatre Company.

Kingdom Theatre Company has been performing shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 2013.

Kingdom Theatre Company has been performing shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 2013.

Actors take to the stage for the Kelty Clippie - Steve Ponton, Mike Tiling and Jacqueline Hanna. Pic: David Wardle.

Actors take to the stage for the Kelty Clippie - Steve Ponton, Mike Tiling and Jacqueline Hanna. Pic: David Wardle.

It was founded in 2012 by John Murray, Lorraine Brown and Tony Delicata with the aim of promoting new writing and offering work experience with public performances to student learners throughout the year.

However, it’s main focus was to put on performances during the Edinburgh Fringe – the largest festival in the world.

This year, the group is returning to the Fringe when it will perform its sold-out show Kelty Clippie The Musical – based on a classic Fife Folk Song, premiere a rock musical Rock Idle; host a brand new magic show, Secrets; and produce a full length musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone, with a full cast and live orchestra.

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But how did the company get to where it is today?

Secrets by Cameron Young is on at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Secrets by Cameron Young is on at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

In early 2017 it became a registered charity in Scotland and began recruiting students who were seeking real work experience and tuition in theatre arts.

John Murray, writer, broadcaster and DJ, explained how the group began.

“For 2017 ,” he said, “we recruited six student dancers, three student actors and four technical students for our summer productions for training and mentoring, gaining great reviews and a Herald Angels Award.”

One of the first shows the company performed at the Fringe was Sinatra: The Final Curtain.

Moray Innes performed the lead role in Sinatra: The Final Curtain. It was written by John Murray and debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2013.

Moray Innes performed the lead role in Sinatra: The Final Curtain. It was written by John Murray and debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2013.

As a lifelong Sinatra fan and after seeing him play live at Ibrox in 1990, John was inspired to write Sinatra: The Final Curtain over the summer of 2012 with performances at the Fringe debuting in 2013. It went on to 14 sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August 2013 and then sold out all 20 shows in a bigger venue Fringe 2014.

The musical play is based on the life of the Rat Pack founder and sees him looking back over his life – the highs and lows, triumphs and heartaches that made him the icon that he is. The original ‘young Sinatra’ was played by Kirkcaldy-based Alan Murrie.

Included in the show are many hit songs including My Way, (Theme from) New York, New York, Come Fly With Me and many more.

After the success of Sinatra: The Final Curtain, John then co-wrote the Dean Martin Christmas Show with Tony Delicata for Fringe 2015 which returned in 2016 along with new production Emerald Diaries, with original music from John and Willie Logan.

Emerald Diaries was a musical which featured live Irish dance, comedy, Scottish songs and a love story produced in association with award-winning spectacular Siamsoir Irish dancers.

Also premiering in 2016 was What The Funk, which tells the history of funk played live. The show took audiences on a journey from the Hammond origins of funk to floor-filling brass infused bass thumping beats of today with Scotland’s finest Lights Out By Nine.

The show premiered at Edinburgh Fringe 2016 for just nine shows and quickly sold out. What The Funk also played a sold out show in the Adam Smith Theatre as a fund raiser for Adam Smith Global Foundation (Festival Of Ideas) in 2018

Written by himself and for 2017, the production, Just Like The Movies, told the story of Mary, a young dancer from Leith, who was seeking new challenges and featured music from Willie Logan.

In 2018 Bon The Musical about Bon Scott AC/DC premiered at the Fringe.

John explained what the show is about: “Born in Scotland, Bon Scott emigrated to Australia and joined rock band AC/DC to become a legend. Starring ex-Nazareth vocalist Linton Osborne as Bon, we recalled the trials and the triumphs with new original songs by Willie Logan along with some Bon classics performed live.”

Also at the Fringe last year was An Evening with Michael Bubbles – the show features the forever charming Michael Buble tribute host Michael Bubbles (Jamie Walker) in conversation, taking the audience on a journey of swing and movie medleys.

While the last production performed at the 2018 Fringe was Kelty Clippie The Musical, and it resulted in the entire run being sold out.

Kelty Clippie follows the comic adventures of bus conductress, Maggie (played by Jacqueline Hannan) in Fife.

And John said something special is planned for this year’s Festival Fringe.

“We will return with Kelty Clippie,” he said. “Director Laura Reed has added to the cast and revamped the script with more songs and more laughs.

“And Secrets is the all-new show by the new kid on the block Cammys Magic, designed by the award-winning magician to show how people have survived through the years using magic.

“Cameron Young can prove how you can use magic in this modern day living to do the same.” He continued: “Rock Idle is all about the rock’n’roll diary of Marshall Stax. Starring (ex-Nazareth) vocalist Linton Osborne, audiences see and hear the history of rock before us with live vocals and guitar.”

Rock Idle has been written by John Murray and Linton Osborne with original songs by Willie Logan and there will be only seven shows.

Lastly the five-time Tony award-winning show, The Drowsy Chaperone has been revived for 2019. This is a musical within a comedy and features all the razzamatazz of the roaring 20s. The full show with a live band has been produced by the Twilighters for Kingdom Theatre Company and there are six shows only.

Visit: http://www.kingdomtheatrecompany.com

Kelty Clippie The Musical is on from August 9-17 at Greenside, Nicolson Square - Emerald Theatre, at 5.50pm; Secrets from August 12-17 at Greenside, Infirmary Street - Mint Studio at 7.40pm, Rock Idle at Greenside, Emerald Theatre from August 2-8 at 7.50pm; The Drowsy Chaperone from August 19-24 at Greenside at Nicolson Square - Emerald Theatre at 7.50pm.