Bark! The Musical at Edinburgh Festival
Bark! The Musical.
Bark! The Musical tells the story of 6 dogs who meet in the park for play time…..think Cats but with dogs instead and without the poetry! Being a dog lover I was keen to see what this show was all about and eager to see if it could capture the feeling of mans best friend.
Like Cats, Bark! The Musical has very little narrative. It loosely tells of a pup trying to find his ability to bark but it is mainly focused on the personality and breeds of dogs.
The dogs we meet are Rocks, the new pup in the park played by Dale Adams; Chanel, a prize winning pedigree played by Emily Chesterton; King, an ageing chocolate lab, played by Brian James Leys; Golda, a pug, played by Laura Hyde; Sam a mutt played by Andrew Doyle and Boo a cross breed played by Jalisa Andrews. Each of the dogs had their own quirks, faithful to not only the breed they were playing but the character they had created.
The show had comedy moments with members of the cast threatening to lick audience members faces and of course butt scratching and the horror the dog goes through when they go for the snip.
The cast were very good at getting this character across. Dale Adams as Rocks had a great youthful energy and wide eyed innocence and you instantly believed that he was the newest pup in the park. Emily Chesterton as Chanel also portrayed the pedigree prize winner brilliantly, oozing sophistication and vanity with every move she made. Brian James Leys as King was easily identifiable as a dog we all know, one that is loved and wants to keep up with the younger dogs but is unable. He was the character that managed to tug at heartstrings and his movement constantly reminded the audience of his age. Andrew Doyle as Sam got across the toughness of his character but also reminded the audience how loveable a mutt can be. Golda, played by Laura Hyde and Boo played by Jalisa Andrews were slightly weaker characters, not due to the actresses but more to do with how they were written. I would love to see these two characters developed further in the script so there was a really strong personality trait that was easily identifiable.
The music styles were really varied and I particularly liked some of the more jazzier numbers in style. None of the numbers however provided Bark! The Musical with the big number you leave the show singing which I would have liked to have heard. The cast, without question had exceptional voices. As soon as Dale Adams opened the show it was clear that we were in for a secure ride on this front with his clear Musical Theatre voice soaring. Emily Chesterton also stood out with her more classical voice. She made sure that it always suited her character and had the audience eating out of her paw every time she sang.
Bark! The Musical is a quirky show that I recommend to all dog lovers aged 9 to 99. An adorable portrayal of mans best friend you would be barking mad to miss it.
Bark! The Musical Is playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at C Venues at 17:25 each day. To find out more about Bark! The Musical visit their website.