Broadway Baby

Wind In The Willows tickets

'I am not Jacques Brel,' Peter Straker playfully reminds the audience after his first song. However, with Straker's theatricality and a stage set up as Brel's dressing room, complete with assorted bottles of alcohol, one would be forgiven for forgetting that he was not the Belgian songwriter responsible for the wonderful music on display.

Over the course of the performance, Straker is highlighting more than just Brel's music. Empty time at the show's beginning and between each song is filled with real footage and biographical information about the enchanting chanteur. Fleeting moments spent pretending to put on make-up in the on stage mirror or quoting Brel at his most philosophical elevate the show above being simply a concert or showcase. Combined with Straker's masterful performance of translated classics, such as 'Amersterdam' and 'Mathilde,' Brel's life and music are linked to seemingly raise the man from the dead.

A long standing veteran of the West End stage, Straker’s penchant for performing is well known and admired. Those expecting a complete performance from the Jamaican singer will be more than satisfied as he covers a range of material from Brel’s most energetic and passionate songs to his more tender. His backing band is small - a bass, piano, and guitar - but they do an excellent job of striking the right balance between showing off Brel’s ability as a composer and letting Straker show his ability as a singer.

Through Straker we are reminded that Brel’s music was inspired by his love of home, his love of drink, his fear of death and more, giving the familiar material a personality and vivacity which, for many of us, has long faded. Straker’s impressive performance reminds us of the man behind the well-known music. For fans of Brel, fans of Straker, and fans of music this show should not be missed.

Venue Number 322. Assembly Checkpoint, 3 Bristo Place, EH1 1EY. 1-26 August 16:55 (55 minutes). Suitability: U.

The Blurb

Hailed as one of the great voices on the British stage today, Peter Straker returns with a barnstorming performance covering the songs and life of Brel. ‘One of the must see shows of the Fringe’ *** ** (Scotsman).

Call Sheet

Production Company
Peter Straker