New Town Theatre
5-30 August, 17:45
Pedal percussion sends vibrations ricocheting through the audience in the New Town Theatre this Fringe. Dubbed as tap’s answer to High School Musical, Tap Kids are bringing their story of high school senior year to life on this, their European leg of their tour.
An eight strong team, this band of tenacious tappers, when dancing, give a scintillating performance to the original music composed by Philip Stern and the choreography of Lisa Hopkins. Slick, snappy and vivacious they tap through the defining moments of a group of students’ last year, finishing with Graduation.
Their musicality is second to none and the group routines are impressive in their synchronisation and energy. The use of props was resourceful and dynamic; expect dancing on lunch trays and basketball skirmishes. Indeed the two lead boys syncopated the rhythms of their shoes and bouncing basketballs in an entertaining courtside sequence. The giant projector screen in the background, however, was more like an enormous irritating screensaver that distracted from, rather than showcased, those on stage.
Despite being infectiously energetic on their toes, it did seem that when stripped of a dance routine the cast struggled: the acting needs to become as polished as the choreography for this show to be spectacular. As it was the acting was rather forced. The storyline however formed the real nadir of the show; predictable and clichéd these dancers deserved better material to work with. Not unmissable.