Review: Hiya Dolly!

An amusingly daft but inconsistent play about Dolly the Sheep

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 11 Aug 2022
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Fest magazine

University science lecturer and playwright Vince LiCata wondered, "where are the science based musical comedies?!" so wrote this farcical play with music about the making of Dolly the cloned sheep. Set in the Scottish lab where the research and procedure was carried out in the mid-1990s, it doesn't shy away from complex science. Nor does it avoid weird and wacky creative choices. However, the combination of these mean that the show is in turn often flat and hard to follow, or stylistically inconsistent and baffling.

LiCata leans hard on his narrator Dolly (Jessica Donnelly), who is decked in a kilt, woolly jumper and a voluminous curly wig. The character's quite opinionated about the events that unfold, though she speaks fondly of the team of scientists who made her. It's all rather amusingly daft. The rest of the cast are a mix of British and American actors who inconsistently deploy Scottish accents and a range of acting styles. Mark Beauchamp as lead scientist Ian Wilmut is by far the strongest of the ensemble.

The sporadically occurring tunes are well-known, with lyrics rewritten to suit the show's story. This device adds to the show's already-high cheese factor and significantly contributes to its silliness. All of the actors are solid singers. However, the ending drags, and both the script and performances weigh down the production.