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REVIEW - Bed (Musical Theatre) [Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023]


Bed The Musical, World Premier, Musical Theatre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023. Photo credit: Steve Ullathorne

Bed gets off to strong start, with the quality of the two actors on stage instantly apparent. Madeleine MacMahon (Alice) and Drew Elston (Ben) must be some of the finest actors at The Fringe and it was a privilege to watch them perform.

With rousing live piano accompaniment from Musical Director James Cleeve, the show opens with much promise and intrigue.

A double bed takes centre stage, and all of the action over the next hour revolves around it. On top of it, beside it, in it! It's a fascinating angle for a study on life, considering we all spend a third of our lives in bed.

The stories we witness unfolding in the bed encompass every aspect of life you can imagine from love, sex, birth and well, - no spoilers! It really is an authentic and sometimes moving examination of married life. But I do think the boundaries could be pushed further; It feels a little tame at the moment with nothing really inspiring or revelatory at its core. Many of the audience will be, at varying stages, living that same life and facing many of those same challenges.

Bed is a sweet, sung-through musical, but although directed and performed impeccably, the score was not for me. And being sung-through, that is one of the most important aspects of the piece. I found there to be little variation, and I struggled to distinguish one number from the next. Though undoubtably written with a great deal of skill and played with gusto, I was sadly just not a fan of the musical style. I am absolutely not an expert musician though; this is purely down to personal taste.

What saved the play for me, what held my interest and even had my eyes tearing up at one point, were the actors. They are excellent. The material was not my favourite, and overall Bed was just a bit too gentle for me, but this is a rare opportunity to see exceptional actors in an intimate venue, and indeed in the most intimate of settings - in bed.

Bed The Musical, World Premier, Musical Theatre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023. Photo credit: Steve Ullathorne

When and Where?

Venue: Gilded Balloon – Teviot - Sportsmans

Time: 2.20pm

Dates: 2nd – 28th August (not 14th & 21st)

📸 Photo credits: Steve Ullathorne




Originally from Gloucestershire, she is a Max Turner Prize Winner, BBC New Comedy Award Longlist and Funny Women Semi-Finalist and ‘One To Watch’. Her film/Television includes: Eastenders (BBC); Doctors (BBC); The Freedoms (Amazon Prime); This Little Girl (BFI). Theatre includes: Breathless (Theatre Royal Plymouth/Soho Theatre/59E59); A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) (Silent Uproar/Tour); 21 Pounds; Cider With Rosie; Beatrix Potter & The Tailor of Gloucester; Great Expectations (Cheltenham Everyman); The Tempest (Creation Theatre); Petticoat Council (Warwick Arts Centre); Hush Now (Feral Productions); Mercury Fur (Middle Child); Kings; Kubrick3; The Dark Room (New Diorama Theatre); Into The Woods (Cockpit Theatre); When Harry Met Barry (Above The Stag); Jack & The Beanstalk; Peter Pan; Sleeping Beauty; Aladdin; Beauty & The Beast; Cinderella; Jason & The Argonauts; Dick Whittington; Hush Now (Hereford Courtyard). @madi_macmahon


Drew is known for playing the lead role ‘Writer' in feature film Placebo (2022 Apple TV+). Drew won X2 Best Actor awards for this. He also plays 'Pelt' in feature film ‘Mercy Land’ (2023), Immune (2020), playing lead role 'Dr John O’Connor’- he was nominated for Best Actor. 'Brother Kost’ Star Trek - The Holy Core (2019). He also played Pilot 'Baines', alongside Daan Schuurmans in TV Series Turbulent Skies (NPO). Drew is currently filming as 'Arthur' in the action movie 'Buckle Up' alongside Eric Roberts and Michael Madsen. Theatre Credits include KEY WORDS (Park Theatre), 13 (Jackson's Lane Theatre), WITCHES JAUNT (RSC), MARKET BOY (Union Theatre), YERMA (Bloomsbury Studio Theatre & Hope Mill Theatre), BUNNIES & WOLVES (Brockley Jack Theatre), THE WINTER'S TALE (Courtyard Theatre), WHERE THERE'S A WILL (Stockwell Playhouse) SERENDIPITY (English Theatre Company), THE TEMPEST (Brockley Jack Theatre/Faction Theatre) INCARCERATOR (Criterion Theatre)


Matthew Gould – Director: credits include The Gulf (Tristan Bates), Adolf Killed my Sweetheart (ALL FM radio), Hello Norma Jean (The Park Theatre), The Glass Protege (The Park Theatre), The Secondary Victim (The Park Theatre), Pete & Keeley (Tristan Bates), I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (The Arts Theatre), The Secret Garden (UK tour), The Anorak, A Body to Diet For, My Favourite Madman (all at Edinburgh Fringe), The Miller’s Wife (Arcola Theatre) and San Domino (Arcola Theatre & Tristan Bates Theatre).

James Cleeve - Musical Director: credits include: Yank! The Musical (Hope Mill Manchester & Charing Cross Theatre), Alice in Sunderland (National Theatre Workshop), Ushers (Arts Theatre West End), Avenue Q (Windsor Theatre Royal), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Arts Theatre), Cells (Metta Theatre), and tours of The Sound of Music (as Associate MD). James regularly MDs on the London cabaret circuit with singers including Dillie Keane, Liza Pulman, Rachel Tucker, Christine Bovill, Wendi Peters and Claire Sweeney.

Jane Frisby – Casting: Jane has cast many feature films including the award winning 'Hear My Song'. Jane's passion is for finding undiscovered talent and giving them a break – these have included Jude Law, Tara Fitzgerald, James Nesbitt, John Simm, Andrew Lincoln to name but a few.

Tim Anfilogoff & Alan Whittaker - Writers Tim (mostly lyrics) & Alan (mostly music) are co-founders of TKD productions and have been writing musical theatre together since 2013. Their productions include San Domino (Arcola Theatre & Tristan Bates Theatre) : A Body to Diet For (Edinburgh Fringe) and The Golden Age (Etcetera Theatre) Tim has also written several plays including The Meaning of Lunch (BBC), The Other Island (Etcetera Theatre), The Bench (INK Festival.) Alan is a composer and music producer working with various international artists under the band names Time Waves and AcousticAl.


🌟REVIEW - Bed (Musical Theatre) at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023🌟

🎟️ Disclosure: I am an Edinburgh Festival Fringe accredited media reviewer and as such I receive complimentary press tickets in exchange for my honest reviews. My reviews and star ratings are always my honest opinions.

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Lisa in the theatre, theater, reviews, blog, Scotland, Scottish

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