Reviews for On The Island Of Aars – Edinburgh 2008
Nominated in all 5 categories in the MTM musical awards;
• best production of a musical
• most promising new musical
• best lyrics (Chris Larner)
• best music (Mark Stevens)
• best book (Chris Larner)
• Laura Main specially mentioned for her performance
“Aars is unexpectedly touching... lie back and let this tickle you, you'll emerge smiling.” - Guardian
“Pure, unadulterated fun... an exposition of exemplary comic writing... you’ll be awed by its comic finesse, if not the slickness of the production.
“The whole cast performs admirably, milking the outrageous elements of their characters... Larner’s perfectly weighted asides deserve credit for setting the madcap tone while binding the unruly performance together... Laura Main... brightens this show like a lighthouse... this show is a ray of sunshine; there could be no better escape from the gloom than On the Island of Aars. - Fest.
“It's great fun... and the performances are impeccable.” - British Theatre Guide.
“Those who remember The Translucent Frogs Of Quuup will need no further incentive to see this... Aars is a clever parody of the musical format and of any story that celebrates the pastoral lifestyle. Climaxing in a majestic Mull Of Kintyre-style number, Aars has a genial disposition and a tuneful score to help it appeal to tourists and locals alike...that's likely to leave audiences with a strong desire to find their own inner Aars soul. “ - Metro
“A beautifully lyrical play. The writing is exquisitely delicate, with poetical lilts and lulls and beautifully funny observations of the Scottish language, dialects and culture.
“The outlandish storyline and gaggle of characters has been handled with a magical touch by co-creator, writer and director Chris Larner, whose skill as a writer is only outshone by his talent as a comedy actor..a faultless and hilarious performance... Laura Main played Morag with an accomplished ease.. why is this girl not a star on screen? Her careful and deliberate underplaying of the sheltered, niaive islander holds the bizarre script together and her stunning singing voice is both haunting and beautiful. One of the best performances I have seen on the Fringe this year.
“This show is an exceptional example of how musical comedy theatre should be, brave, well written, superbly performed and bloody funny.” - Chortle
“Silly accents, enough bum jokes to justify the title, and a host of toe-tappingly catchy ditties... Larner's writing is incredibly witty, and clever lines from all the characters add to the chaos. The energy and talent of the cast also saves this from drowning in the surreal - special credit should go to Michael Wilson who plays the two puritans with exceptional ease and comic timing.
“As stated in the show, "some things are as mad as a puffin on a chat show", and this is definitely one of them. On the Island of Aars appeals to the Lewis Carroll lovers among us... The piece lands firmly on its feet, and not on its Aars.” - What's On Stage
“The music is sweet, the humour off-the wall and the characters so totally bizarre and well-played that the whole thing together makes a ridiculous, hilarious kind of sense. Inspired, weird and strangely uplifting comedy” - Glasgow Herald
“Very clever, enjoyable and lots of fun, the music is catchy and I would like a copy. This sort of gem..should be prescribed as a tonic to cheer people up. “ - One 4 Review