Orpheus

Alexander Wright, our poet for the evening, tells us that this piece was written in The Meadows – the park not very far from Summerhall where they are performing now. Both the barefoot boys, Wright, with his long hair and hat, and Phil Granger with his patchwork harem pants and acoustic guitar, look like they could have been freshly plucked from the locals regularly seen strewn across the grass. It really feels like that is the performances spiritual home. This is a show that deserves to be heard out under the sky where you can hear the wind rustling through the leaves on the trees. Our performing duo seemed a little penned in by the black box space they occupied. It would have been a delight to watch them roam free, outside or in a pub or one of the many other spaces the piece has been performed.

A production that is simply full of love and heart and music.

At its core, Orpheus is centers on two guys, a guitar and a story. It is one of those enchanting reminders of the simple yet profound power of storytelling. Carefully crafted lyrically-poetic dramatic form meets the songs of Bruce Springsteen. Beautiful slightly more traditional appreciation of colour and nature are combined karaoke and greasy spoons to create a modern Parthenon in which Dave, the normal human, can fall in love with Eurydice, a dryad. When she dies, simple Dave travels to the underworld to try and get her back.

Orpheus is not just the classic tale of love and loss usually explored by this myth. Wrights text and Granger’s adorable songs – such as the first song Dave wrote on the guitar – conjure up memories and illustrate a childhood very clearly, leaving you pining for a past you never truly had. This youthful innocence, makes the social isolation Dave feels so much more heart wrenching. The isolation that can sweep in and swamp the purposeless individual when we fall between the cracks of society, work and friends – is communicated so simply, but very effectively though the music and words of the performing pair.

This show is very much the story of Dave by Dave the whole poem is told from his point of view, he is a modern day version of the mythic Orpheus. It is these reinventions that work so well to bring this old story home. Particularly excellent was a moment when the Greek gods and goddesses were fleshed out into people standing around a cafe. In some ways it feels a bit of a shame that Eurydice alone seemed untouched from much from the classics, she was very much a walking talking myth, radiating divinity immorality and magic. She felt a bit out of place in the story.

A production that is simply full of love and heart and music. A bare foot, long haired, leather notebook and guitar wheildling kind of show. Orpheus would be proud.

Reviews by M Johnson

Assembly Roxy

Thor and Loki

★★★
Paradise in The Vault

Quines

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Grace

★★
Summerhall

Status

★★★
Zoo Southside

A Life on the Silk Road

★★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

She-Wolves

★★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Winner of the VAULT Festival Summerhall Award and Adelaide Fringe Best Theatre Award. Dave is single, stood with his mates at the bar, and is turning 30 next week. Eurydice is a mythical dryad – a tree nymph. A modern telling of an ancient myth, woven from hair raising spoken word and soaring soul music. A tale of side streets, dive bars and ancient gods. A story of death defying love from the creators of Fable and Beulah. ***** (Scotsman). 'Sing from the roof tops' ***** (VoiceMag.uk) 'Storytelling at its finest' **** (Advertiser, Adelaide).