Sing along with the chorus lines

9th August 1996 at 01:00
As in previous years, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the place to see a healthy burgeoning of musicals, old and new, mounted by schools and youth groups from Scotland and south of the border.

In the first week there is a novelty of local interest from Preston Lodge High School in St Oswald's Hall, Montpelier. The blurb for Deacons Brodie promises "Memorable songs, a poignant, hilarious drama" in this representation of the notorious double life of the 18th-century Edinburgh citizen. On more familiar territory, after a success last season with The Vackees, Forth Children's Theatre in Inverleith Church Hall will be performing Oklahoma!

In the second week the Edinburgh Young Theatre Company at Broughton High School has the Scottish premiere of Annie Warbucks, a sequel to the popular Annie.

A highlight of every Fringe for many years has been the National Youth Music Theatre's acclaimed productions. In the confined space of the George Square Theatre, the cast perform miracles of ingenuity: masterly handling of large numbers on stage combined with a constant high standard of singing and acting. Two certain crowd-pullers will be Bugsy Malone and the original version of The Beggar's Opera. Definitely not to be missed.

Returning for a third year the players of the David Eden Youth Theatre from Coventry appear in the 1920s romp The Boy Friend at Moray House Theatre. For Festival-goers seeking a more sophisticated show, Youth Connection Theatre Company in the Southside Community Centre opens up The Little Shop of Horrors and Cabaret during the second and third weeks of the Festival.

If you find these entertainments too frivolous, there is Insurrection, a historically accurate new musical on the escapades of the Suffragettes. This can be seen in the first two weeks in the Old St Paul's Church Hall and is performed by Queen's College Theatre Company from London.

Leicestershire Youth Arts, another regular contributor to the Fringe, is again in residence at the St Ann's Community Centre, Cowgate. The cast will be presenting the black comedy Oh, What a Lovely War and Chicago, a musical by the team that wrote Cabaret. Be prepared for a night of murder, laughs and jazz.

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