EDINBURGH FRINGE: Natalie’s Marvellous Mishmash of Musicals at the Sweet Grassmarket 2, Apex Grassmarket Hotel EH1 2HS, venue 18 ****
Attending press launches at the Edinburgh Fringe is almost as exciting as actually seeing a show. You get to meet performers from all over the world and they might even win you over to review their shows.

Natalie Wilcox arrived late and didn’t seem too comfortable selling herself – or did I look scary?! What’s more, hers was a show of musical numbers… no acting there, I thought.

But it just goes to show how wrong you can be. An accomplished actor (she’s currently making a film called The Little Poet King), comedy improviser and writer who also teaches tap and works with people with learning disabilities, Natalie is also studying for a degree in French – but in Edinburgh she’s trying out a different show format which she’d like to tour to, and get involved with, rural communities, singing songs she has always wanted to sing but has never had the chance to. Oh, yes, ‘cos she’s an accomplished singer as well!

Her opening number bodes well for the rest of her show… ‘I will do better than my best. I have confidence in me…’ The quiet latecomer at the press launch really shines on stage, bringing the hills alive with the sound of music and using her acting skills to put across a wide range of characters from Annie, Oliver!, Me and My Girl, Company, Jungle Book, Little Shop of Horrors, Mary Poppins…

She also throws in a bit of tap dancing, plays the guitar and encourages her audience to join in – though it’s not compulsory.

It must be hard for someone to perform big numbers in a small room but, ably accompanied by Linda Stewart on keyboard, Natalie is expressive, energetic and obviously enjoys what she does. A good all round entertainer.

Natalie’s Marvellous Mishmash of Musicals is at Sweet Grassmarket 2, Apex Grassmarket Hotel EH1 2HS until Aug 11 at 3 (50 mins). Tickets £10/£8.
Box Office: 0131 243 3596/www.sweetvenues.com
Image:Sukey Parnell