Prelude to a Number

Prelude to a Number is a show about maths: more specifically, it’s about the ‘golden number’ phi, which is related to the Fibonacci sequence and is all around us, although we often don’t notice. Phi is responsible for the structure of flowers, the shape of shells, and the sound of a happy guitar chord.

Without maths, Geddes Loom wouldn’t have a show; without maths, we wouldn’t have pineapples. This show promises to make you look at the world in a different way and to appreciate invisible patterns that create meaning.

Geddes Loom is a new company. This is their first show together, and of course, their first Fringe. They describe themselves as musicians who got lost in a theatre and are still trying to find their way out. It is hard to define this show by genre. It’s not a play. It’s not a gig. It’s a combination of live music and storytelling that is not quite cabaret. It succeeds in making maths accessible and even exciting. This is a show of interesting ideas and beautiful music.

Leonie Kate Higgins has a remarkable singing voice, and although her spoken voice needs to be bigger at times, she nonetheless draws us in, particularly when weaving a tale about Tessa, who relies on the patterns maths make to help her cope.

Ben Mellor has a good rapport with the audience as he further demonstrates that maths is everywhere in the universe. It’s a testament to Mellor’s storytelling skill that I remained drawn into the tale of Leon, even though I didn’t particularly like Leon’s character.

Dan Steele, described as the Harpo Marx of the group, doesn’t tell stories or speak at all, but he does speak through his guitar in a couple of very funny moments and his music – live and looped – carries the show. At one point he even played percussion on his guitar.

Higgins said at some point in the show that “without mathematics there can be no art.” Maybe that’s true. Without maths, Geddes Loom wouldn’t have a show; without maths, we wouldn’t have pineapples. This show promises to make you look at the world in a different way and to appreciate invisible patterns that create meaning.

Reviews by Emma Gibson

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

How do we do this? How can we make sense in the chaos when the universe won’t show us its workings? Tessa needs to find a way of holding her life together. Leon is searching for the secret that can bring him both wealth and happiness. And somewhere a maths teacher is wondering about the divine proportions of a drum break that beats through his life. With live-looped music, spoken word and storytelling, Geddes Loom present a show about humans, maths and meaning. Devised in collaboration with and directed by Leo Kay of Unfinished Business, www.thisisunfinished.com.