Eva Cassidy The Story theSpace @ Symposium Hall Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019 Review Saturday 10th August

With Edinburgh Entertainment & Arts


Eva Cassidy The Story, presented and performed by Elsa Jean McTaggart at theSpace @ Symposium Hall has become, over the last few years, one of the Fringe success stories. There are probably several reasons for this – the enduring public love affair with Eva Cassidy and the often iconic songs that she added her own unique interpretation to are undoubtedly a big part of this show being a hit with the public, but that extra piece of magic that every good show needs is the equally unique voice and interpretation of these songs by Elsa Jean McTaggart.

As we briefly run through the all too short life of Eva Cassidy (this show is the trimmed down for time, Fringe version of a longer show) it is obvious that both Eva Cassidy and her music have a special significance at a very special level to Elsa and these songs are sung for a love of both. This is not a tribute show in the all too often presented format that many people perform, this is absolutely not Elsa Jean McTaggart making any attempt to look or sound like Eva Cassidy.  Having said that though, if any singer can do justice to any song sung by Eva Cassidy, it is Elsa because, in the end, these songs are all about a purity and a clarity of voice that can when needed deliver heart-breaking emotions.

Opening this show with two classic songs given Eva’s unique interpretations, Songbird (written by Christine McVie) and Fields of Gold (written by Sting), Elsa Jean McTaggart left no one in the audience in any doubt that here was yet another very special singer adding their voice to these songs.

The running time of this show only allows for a selection of songs that Eva Cassidy sang, but there is always one special song in this show, the immortal “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Yip Harburg).  There were for me only two people who could ever sing this song with the emotion that it requires, Judy Garland and Eva Cassidy, and now Elsa Jean McTaggart has been added to that list and made it three.

Eva Cassidy The Story presented and performed by Elsa Jean McTaggart is simply songs sung from the heart, to the heart.


Eva Cassidy The Story

theSpace @ Symposium Hall

Aug 2-25


50 minutes

Country: United Kingdom - Scotland

Group: Elsa Jean McTaggart


Review by Tom King




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"Music, stories, laughter and songs fill the room
I smile but my heart is breaking, I feel nothing but gloom
Am I the only one to see standing there in the corner an angel of sorrows
As I pray to her to look over you for all your coming tomorrows"


Words from "The Last Living Wake"
copyright © Tom King 2019


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