Tag Archives: Oliver Ormson

High Fidelity


The Turbine Theatre

High Fidelity

High Fidelity

The Turbine Theatre

Reviewed – 1st November 2019



“The pitch is perfect, as is the balance of ballads and foot stompers – the ideal mixtape”


Nick Hornby’s novel, written nearly twenty-five years ago, was an instant hit capturing the mid-nineties zeitgeist when the notion that ‘boys will be boys’ was just beginning to be chipped away by the new sensibilities. This could have been a death blow for the novel, but the emotional intelligence of Hornby’s writing allowed it to endure; its success leading to the millennial film starring John Cusack and Jack Black, and eventually a stage musical. Written by David Lindsay-Abaire with music by Tom Kitt and lyrics by Amanda Green it premiered on Broadway in 2006 but closed after thirteen performances.

Paul Taylor-Mills’ production at the Turbine Theatre has successfully brought the show up to date while staying true to its roots, and it is safe to say that this sensational reinterpretation will not suffer the same fate. Writer and comedienne Vikki Stone has been brought on board to adapt the script and lyrics, relocating the action back to London and reclaiming the inherent buoyancy and playfulness of the story.

The plot focuses on Rob, the owner of a record shop in Holloway, whose girlfriend, Laura, has just left him. Obsessed with compiling lists and ‘mixtapes’, he recalls his five most memorable breakups before Laura, and eventually his self-examination leads to self-realisation and reconciliation. On paper it should be hard to like the overgrown, commitment-phobic problem child that is Rob. His dated sense of male entitlement should rub you up the wrong way in today’s climate, but Oliver Ormson’s winning performance grabs our empathy with both hands.

Supported by an outstanding cast, the laughs come thick and fast. Robbie Durham and Carl Au as Barry and Dick, the part time hired help in Rob’s record store, complement Ormson, creating a trio that could win awards if that was the goal. But there is a self-deprecatory disregard for approval that is reflected in the characters’ relish in working in a shop that has “zero growth potential”. Yet in this mannish world, the women call the shots. Shanay Holmes, as Laura, knows she has the upper hand, but Holmes underscores her fiery independence with a vulnerability that simultaneously softens and strengthens the character.

Tom Kitt’s score mixes pop with rock, heavy metal and Motown, country and soul with a seasoning of rap and R&B. It could easily be a mess but, aided by director Tom Jackson Greaves’ sharp choreography, the eclectic selection of styles has a cohesive whole. It is a feat pulled off only by the close-knit chemistry of the entire ensemble and band of musicians. The pitch is perfect, as is the balance of ballads and foot stompers – the ideal mixtape. In an age of Spotify playlists, it is refreshing to hear references to cassettes and vinyl. David Shields’ set places us in a bygone world of the record shop, before music went online. But the essential truth of music and its undeniable impact on us remains true and keeps this story relevant and timeless. “High Fidelity” is a timely boost of optimism. Rob would put it at the top of his list of reasons to be cheerful.


Reviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography by Mark Senior


High Fidelity

The Turbine Theatre until 7th December


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Torch Song | ★★★★★ | September 2019


Click here to see our most recent reviews


Addams Family – Rehearsals

Rehearsals are well under way for the UK & Ireland premiere of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, starring Samantha Womack as Morticia Addams, Les Dennis as Uncle Fester, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday Addams, Cameron Blakely as Gomez Addams, Valda Aviks as Grandma Addams, Charlotte Page as Alice Beineke, Dale Rapley as Mal Beineke, Grant McIntyre as Pugsley Addams, Dickon Gough as Lurch and Oliver Ormson as Lucas Beineke.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY will open at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on 20 April where it will run until 29 April before embarking on a UK & Ireland tour until 4 November 2017.

Directed by Matthew White, THE ADDAMS FAMILY is a musical comedy, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, the creators of multi award-winning Jersey Boys, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the characters created by Charles Addams.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY is produced by Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics Limited, in association with the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, and is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.




Rehearsal Photography by Craig Sugden



20-29 April 2017 Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
www.edtheatres.com 0131 529 6000

9-13 May 2017 Royal & Derngate, Northampton
www.royalandderngate.co.uk 01604 624811

16-20 May 2017 New Wimbledon Theatre
www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-wimbledon-theatre 0844 871 7646

23-27 May 2017 Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
www.marlowetheatre.com 01227 787787

30 May – 3 June 2017 Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
www.southendtheatres.org.uk 01702 351 135

6-10 June 2017 Birmingham Hippodrome www.birminghamhippodrome.com 0844 338 5000

13-17 June 2017 Theatre Royal, Bath
www.theatreroyal.org.uk 01225 448844

20-24 June 2017 Hall for Cornwall, Truro
www.hallforcornwall.co.uk 01872 262466

27 June – 1 July 2017 Nottingham Theatre Royal
www.trch.co.uk 0115 989 5555

4-8 July 2017 The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
www.bradford-theatres.co.uk 01274 432000

18 – 29 July 2017 Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
www.mayflower.org.uk 02380 711811

1-12 August 2017 Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre
www.wmc.org.uk 029 2063 6464

15-26 August 2017 Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin
www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie 0844 847 2455

29 August – 9 September 2017 The Lowry, Salford
www.thelowry.com 0843 208 6000

12-16 September 2017 Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk 0114 249 6000

19-23 September 2017 Bristol Hippodrome
www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome 0844 871 3012

26-30 September 2017 New Victoria Theatre, Woking www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-victoria-theatre 0844 871 7645

3-7 October 2017 Grand Opera House, Belfast
www.roh.org.uk 028 9024 1919

10-14 October 2017 Glasgow King’s Theatre
www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre 0844 871 7648

17-21 October 2017 Wolverhampton Grand
www.grandtheatre.co.uk 01902 429 212

24-28 October 2017 Milton Keynes Theatre
www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre 0844 871 7652

31 October – 4 November 2017 Orchard Theatre, Dartford
www.orchardtheatre.co.uk 01322 220000