A quick blast of ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ by One Direction left the audience in no doubt what to expect in Harry, playing at Underbelly Cowgate in The Belly Dancer Room. The audience, though were probably pleasantly surprised to find that this is much more than a One Direction fan club, it’s also a really touching story of friendship and growing up.
Yes, it’s based around One Direction and Harry Styles in particular, there’s a life sized cardboard cut-out of him as you walk in the room, and it opens with a bit of back story around how the band were formed. Everyone in the room could probably remember how the global phenomenon came into being, but it’s worth being reminded they didn’t even win the X-Factor!
We’re back in 2011 and Caitlin and Sophie are, through serendipity, placed as roommates in university halls. They very quickly become best friends, sharing a love of almost everything, but mostly Harry. We journey with them through their three years of university and the highs and lows of scholastic life, while at the same time they hatch plans in CSI fashion to meet their idol.
Each scene is punctuated by a One Direction song, and you remember how good the band actually are (not were, it’s only a hiatus). The upbeat tunes certainly put you in a good mood and keep you in high spirits. The stage is put to good use and is decorated as the piece progresses, various One Direction and university themed objects slowly adorn the set. Chalk is used to write up milestones in the girls journey, although a lot is written on the floor which can’t really be seen from the seating.
Performers Caitlin McEwan and Sophie McQuillan do a fantastic job of exploring their respective characters, it’s a story we are all familiar with; friendships that form fast but aren’t guaranteed to last forever. Filled with emotion, but also plenty of laughs Harry helps us to think about friendship from an outsiders point of view.