Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Amy Draper’

Another one I missed in Edinburgh, this is billed as ‘a new musical’, which is deceptive. For me it’s a folk tale with music, highly original, with bucketloads of atmosphere and charm.

Eilidh is the last child on a remote Scottish island which has been depopulating rapidly and may soon become unpopulated entirely, depending on the outcome of a referendum. Eilidh’s mum left her with her gran, a bit of a prankster. We meet other characters who live on the island, including a heavily pregnant woman (on an island without a midwife!), but the significant event is Eilidh finding a beached whale, then meeting Arran, a stranger who seems to have a connection to the creature. There are allusions to the Scots mythical Finfolk and Skelkie.

Bethany Tennick and Kirsty Findlay play Eilidh and Arran respectively, plus all other roles. They sing unaccompanied, beautifully, using live electronic loops to provide extra vocals, foot & hand percussion, harmonies and sound effects. They conjure up a strange, mysterious world and the story captivates as it unfolds. I struggled a bit with the dialect at first, particularly as the speech is underlaid with music / sound, but I got into the rhythm of it. Staging it in Southwark Playhouse’s smaller space, The Little, provides the intimacy it needs.

Stewart Melton’s has written a folk tale, Finn Anderson has added music and Amy Draper has animated it. I thought it was lovely. Go see.

Read Full Post »

One of the most moving moments in a lifetime of travel was seeing the mothers of the disappeared in their monthly ritual in Buenos Aires main square just nine years ago. BA was a very different place to my first visit 27 years before that. This show sets out to tell their story through one mother and her disappeared daughter, using ‘political musical cabaret’ as its form.

Our MC is the General. There are two other military men, one in drag most of the time. The story only starts after the cabaret form is established, which takes some 30 minutes – unnecessarily long and dangerously close to losing the audience in too much forced bonhomie. When Ana and her mother Gloria’s story begins, it gets grittier and deeper and in the second half very dark and deeply moving. I very much liked Darren Clark’s eclectic score and lyrics, which tell the story well and add an emotional layer.

The Arcola has been effectively turned into the Coup Coup Club, with an apron stage and cabaret tables in front of the usual seating in an excellent design by Georgia Lowe and Alex Berry. Neil Kelso, who also plays one of the trio of military men, provides very good illusions. Alexander Luttley provides the burlesque edginess with his racy routines. There’s a theatrical coup at the end which movingly reminds you that this is based on true events. Most of the cast of nine double-up as musicians, with very high musical standards. Amy Draper, who had the concept and is its co-storyteller, directs it with passion.

It wasn’t helped by a 35-minute delay in staring, but it is overlong and if they only ditched a lot of the first quarter and edited the rest, they’d have a much better show. That said, I don’t regret my schlep to Dalston on a sweltering evening.

Read Full Post »