Edinburgh Festival Look-Back

West Side Story. Photo credit: Ryan Buchanan.jpg

Well what a festival season it was!

My Festival preparation started early this year as I was gearing up for my first foray into Musical Theatre performing having taken on the iconic role of Anita in West Side Story. I traveled to NYC to immerse myself in all things MT, dance with Diane Laurenson (a long time dance captain and revival dance captain for the piece), voice lessons with the force of nature that is Lauren Flanigan, and trips to the NY Public Library Theatre division to research the piece from it's inception to it's current form.

Performing for the first time with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner added to the excitement of the engagement. We came together with NYCOS (the National Choir of Scotland) along with young American singers from Chicago, New York and Baltimore to create this incredible semi staged production in the Usher Hall for the International Festival. With the energetic and powerful stage direction of Stephen Whitson and movement by Ste Clough we managed to convey the power of the piece in a concert setting.

The orchestra played an absolute blinder… the vocal and acting performances were also remarkable.

- Read the **** four star review in The Herald here.

The unstoppable energy and incendiary passion of the frenetic cast that really set the evening ablaze.”

- Read the ***** five star review in The Scotsman here.

It was an amazing start to the festival season and a career highlight!


No sooner had I come down for that, I began my series called The Power of Music featuring 3 distinguished writers talking about the powerful effect music has had on their lives in front of a live audience (produced by Pauline Moore). This was the second year I have hosted this event and what a year it was!

We began with Writer and Librettist Louise Welsh, followed by Civil Rights activist and Scientist Sir Geoff Palmer, ending with Scotland's Queen of Crime, Val McDermid. Each event was unique, but oh how we laughed, cried, learned and even had a wee sing along with Val!

Join us next year for an expanded week of Power of Music chats at St Andrew's and St George's West Venue 111.

As I look back on the Festival of 2019 I am so grateful for all of the experiences and the help along the way. It will always hold a special place in my heart and I hope that this first musical theatre experience will most certainly not be my last!

Look out Festival 2020 - Watch This Space!

THE POWER OF MUSIC - St Andrew's and St George's West