Paper Hearts

Paper Hearts is performing at Underbelly Medical Quad at 6.40pm.

World premiere of uplifting new British musical set in a high street bookshop. Aspiring writer Atticus Smith lives avidly through his novel’s characters until the arrival of the spirited Lilly Sprocket.

Liam O’Rafferty’s new musical premieres at the Edinburgh Fringe to great success. Paper Hearts is a light-hearted romance that leans slightly into romantic comedy with its overly cheesy plot. However, most romantic musicals will always be a little comical as romances always are.

Following the story of Atticus Smith, the musical is set in a bookshop, with two storylines – Atticus’s and his novel’s. With his novel being an almost direct reflection of his current life and situation the play can cover a lot of ground by following both stories. All of the cast are talented singers, with many doubling up as the band, which has been cleverly directed by Tania Azevedo. The dances are fun but the stage space limits them and prevents the cast from letting out their full potential.

The music itself is good but I can’t say I left remembering any of them, unfortunately. It felt like there was room for improvement on the score and for it to transfer to London or elsewhere it needs to be longer and given a little more polish. The scenes in the Russian novel could have done with having more of a Russian influence throughout the songs to try and really distinguish the scenes from the bookshop and the novel. The storyline itself was a little cheesy and almost too neat to be believed. The triangle between Lily, Atticus and Atticus’s dad was, I felt, unnecessary and a little offputting.

However all together it was an extremely enjoyable show and a great outing. Not one to be missed this Fringe and definitely a possible replacement for Once the musical on the West End after a little more work and polish.

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