Behind every object are eyes that witness life in a different way to us. What if those objects had a chance to share their stories? What would they teach us do you think? These questions and many more are explored by storyteller and musician duo David Head and Matt Glover in a new show that was a steady slow burner, but each twist and turn was intricately weaved and drew us in from the first chord.
Each twist and turn was intricately weaved and drew us in from the first chord
We were introduced to the stories via a customer who was looking for inspiration to write a show and stumbled across a strange shop that had an unusual business concept... it did not want any money, just an chance to give away some objects that were 'free to a good home'. The way this place was established had a haunting element that reminded me of the classic children's TV series Mr Benn, due to the way the shopkeeper invited us and the customer into his world. After encouraging the customer to tell him his story, he hands him a used notebook, telling him mysteriously 'That's the problem you see...a new notebook, no stories. What you need is something used...' From hereonin, the customer reads the stories that are in the notebook and discovers that the stories evolve from the objects involved. We met a part of an old ship being used as a piece of a ship in a bottle having witnessed a complicated parent and child relationship through the generations back to the days of being on a Pirate ship. A chess board that witnessed the breakdown of a marriage, a teddy bear that saw a family's life and questioned their existence and more.
Each word that Head and Glover wove in their words and music slowly but surely reeled the audience in and peeled each layer of the onion away as we got to appreciate objects that we accumulate over time, but do not always appreciate. We had to follow it closely however, as there was one tale that revealed a huge secret. If you blinked you missed the magic. But I'm not going to reveal it here, you have to watch this show to find out what it is.
A couple of small tweaks to add an extra bit of magic to this would be if some of the character voices were a little more distinctive to differentiate between each one. The personality changes were good, but just that little more of a shift would make these characters more rounded and alive. The other one would be to include the guitarist a little more in the stories as other characters (he is featured in one story as a specific character, but we wanted more).
Head and Glover's combination of folk music and storytelling is a special addition to the festival and needs to be experienced if you love this particular combination of genres.