Review: Bon the Musical by Kingdom Theatre Company

This new musical needs to go back to the drawing board for a complete overhaul

★★
musicals review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Bon the Musical by Kingdom Theatre Company
Published 05 Aug 2018

Bon Scott, the lead singer of AC/DC, was one of rock 'n' roll's great legends. The frontman was about to lead the band into worldwide commercial success when he died at age 33. His life was full of adventure, alcoholism and music so he's a fitting subject for a new musical.

This one is not a worthy tribute to his rise to fame. The book has a complete lack of tension with scenes that are basically recitations of facts about his career in chronological order. The performances, in cod-Australian accents, are occasionally inaudible and always emotionally barren. Who knows if Scott was passionate about music? That passion certainly doesn't come across here. 

For a musical, there is surprisingly little music. The first of the songs comes several scenes in, and while they are sung well—the only redeeming feature of this show—they are turned into a farce by the lead guitarist pretending to play along with a recording. There is no choreography to speak of; instead the actors pace the stage and look at the floor.

'Highway to Hell' is the show's high point, but this production has many, many lows. Though Bon Scott and his career could make for an exciting show about the life of one of the greatest rockers of the 1970s, this new musical needs a total rewrite, and cast and creative overhaul, in order to become a passable piece of theatre.