11-21 November 2015
Reviewed by Emily Crombie
Last night we visited The Edinburgh Playhouse to sample the delights of Mack & Mabel.
The show is a collaboration between Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart which opened in Broadway in 1974. The duo had already experience great success with Hello, Dolly! the previous decade. Although Mack & Mabel only ran for eight weeks, it received eight Tony Award nominations in 1975.
The show opened and the era set with the big band sound of the orchestra situated in the gallery. Michael Ball takes the lead role of Hollywood Film Producer Mack Sennett. I have to admit I did not recognise him… that is until he started singing! Ball totally immersed himself in the character of Sennett and had great chemistry with Rebecca LaChance playing waitress turned actress, Mabel Normand.
Mack & Mabel flashes back to 1911 in the hay-day of silent films and follows the rise and volatile relationship between Mack and Mabel. After making many ‘2 reelers’ with Mabel, Sennett went on to great success with ‘Bathing Beauties’ and ‘Keystone Cops’ but his love was for Mabel until her death 1930.
The show was brought to life by the great attention to detail. The size and scale of the train and ship was recreated on stage by using a combination of cine screens and on stage props. You could even hear seagulls in the background while at the beach!
The show has many great musical and dance numbers… one of my favourite songs, ‘I won’t send roses’ (Michael Ball) and the tap routine of ‘Tap your troubles away’.
Edinburgh Playhouse is situated at the East end of Princess Street, easily accessed by train, tram, bus or car. The theatre is well appointed and the staff helpful.
Tickets cost from £15 to £72.50 (plus £4 transaction fee).
Mack & Mabel is at the Edinburgh Playhouse until 21 November 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3014.
Edinburgh Playhouse, 18–22 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA | 0844 871 3014