Symphony

Traverse
7-8 Nov
19.30
symphony
The concept of this piece was nothing if not original. A live band playing various songs on stage while performing, often at the same time, a trio of short plays related to the music but with no particular underlying theme. The only set being the instruments themselves. Kind of a cross between a gig, a sketch show, a theatrical compilation and a musical. And I can’t deny that the quality of the musicianship was superb, each of the performers switching effortlessly between instruments. And the acting was also of a good caliber. The main thing that let it down was that it all seemed rather light-weight. The most intellectually daring element being the format but unfortunately not the content. And after all is the content not the most important element?
The piece also struggled from a lack of any real coherency. Yes the last two skits were kind of about city living and modern romance but where did that leave the first one? A piece about a 15 year old asthmatic who wanted to play netball…? If I didn’t know better I’d have thought that they just tagged it on because they’d ran out of ideas about urban romance. There also seemed to be a slight confusion in tone about the plays. Which, in fairness, could have been the one element that tied them together. They would each start off in a quirky, slightly sickly fashion, then, as if the writer wanted to prove they had some sort of emotional depth, would veer off into a wistful melancholy. Kind of like starting off as Something About Mary and ending with The Graduate. But never managing to be as good as either.
Still a noble attempt at originality and the audience were largely receptive. So maybe I’m just becoming cynical in my old age. Make your own mind up if you want. You’ve still got one night left. THREE STARS
three-stars
Reviewer : Steven Vickers.

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