Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Edinburgh Festivals Magazine - Review

The post show party of CAODS’s 1970 amateur dramatic production of The Sound of Music proved to be a beginning for some (it was here his parents’ romance began) and the end for others (another actor collapsed whilst playing the guitar, eventually dying that same evening). His father was a Nazi, his mother a nun. His father only had one line: “Ulrich block the driveway!” Yet ultimately, had it not been for this post show party, Michael Pinchbeck would not be here, nor would he, alongside his mother and father, be recreating the events of that winter evening thirty years ago.

The Post Show Party swings back and forth between the past and present, to the soundtrack of The Sound of Music. Memory, nostalgia and personal emotions are central, with Pinchbeck often halting his father in his tracks and questioning “where were you standing? What were you thinking?” A vivid sense of place is aroused as the father and son pair intricately move chairs on the stage, and weave between the characters in the musical, and themselves both past and present. The repetition of the guitar playing thespian falling off the chair and onto the floor in slow motion is a particularly clever motif that runs throughout the play.

The idea behind the play is a beautifully construed one but it was oddly stifled in its execution, seeming at times overindulgent and at others disjointed to the point of distraction. Well portrayed sentiment, but somehow unsatisfying.

Edinburgh Festivals Magazine ***

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