When you are handed a programme as you enter a show at the Edinburgh Festival, you get the sense that you might be about to see something that might be a little more slick than what is on offer elsewhere. At The Prodigals, the programme was on glossy paper, so of course I thought must be in for a real treat.
Indeed, this new musical by Joe Harmston and Ray Goudie is vastly different from other shows in Edinburgh. The plot focuses on Colonel Luke Gibson and his sons, one of whom follows him into the army, and the other who pursues a career as a singer with disastrous results.
Presented like a pop concert, The Prodigals has impressive lighting design by Ben Cracknell and aggressive street dance choreography by Natalie Murdoch, but the story is far too complex for a show with a running time of only an hour. As a consequence, the characters are underdeveloped and relationships between them are confusing. The deliciously camp number “Heroes of the Underworld” provides a welcome diversion though.
Lucie Jones of X Factor and Les Miserables fame stars, but her role is much smaller than the promotional poster might suggest.
If you are looking for a professionally produced spectacle, complete with laser shows and pumping bass beats, the The Prodigals is for you. Unfortunately, in terms of emotion, it is wide of the mark.