Showcase return to The Church Hill Theatre Edinburgh (Tuesday 17th to Saturday 21st September) for another run of charity fund-raising shows on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support. Since their founding in 1991, Showcase has brought to the stage a rich variety of musically themed shows, and in doing so, a wide selection of amateur musical and dance talent over the years have given up their time to not only perform these shows on stage, but over the years, over £280,000 has been raised for Macmillan.
Tonight’s show, with a cast of over 60 on-stage performers, a 14 piece band, and many more people working behind the scenes, brought us a show that ran for approaching three hours (including interval) and along the way gave us music from the “popular American songbook” with songs from Neil Diamond and The Carpenters, a visit to hit shows such as Fame, A Star is Born, and Kinky Boots, a warmly welcomed by the audience, and lively production of some of the best known songs from Queen, and of course, what has over the years become the Showcase theme song, Love & Mercy.
Showcase is a stage production event that I will not use our usual star rating review system on, and not because they don’t deserve any stars, but because the use of such arbitrary system is in my opinion simply not appropriate to use here. There are many reasons for this, but the most important one is that there is no way that you can “star-rate” either an event like this, or an organisation like Showcase where so many people are giving up many hours of their own free time on a regular basis to bring something like this to the stage. Also, these on-stage performances are only the visible part of the Showcase “experience” and the friendships and support networks that this project creates amongst people goes far beyond simply “The Songs”.
As always, the range of performance skills at this show was a varied one with some exceptional voices and a few odd notes here and there too, plus some “interesting” choreography at times, but you have to remember that many of the performers on-stage have no formal training and are often for a Showcase production stepping well outside of their normal “comfort zones”, and in the overall context of this event, and its goals, none of these things matter at all. In fact, many of these little variants often add to the show and remind us as an audience that these are “everyday” people up there on stage doing something very special to raise funds for Showcase in support of MacMillan. The fact that everything comes together in the end to such a high professional standard is a tribute to everyone involved on-stage and behind the scenes.
Showcase are a registered charity and you can find out more about them at their website at
Sadly, all too many people reading this review will have had direct experience with one of the many variants of cancer, either through their own journey, or supporting a loved one or a friend through their journey and through the help of fund-raising organisations like Showcase, MacmIllan can continue to support in many different ways as many people as they possibly can.
Review by Tom King
NOTE- Star Rating review system not used on this production.