Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Events, Belvoir

David Grieg's "The Events" is a tale of finding your way through the darkness after a traumatic events. Inspired by the Norwegian acts of Anders Brevik, this uses the sudden deaths of a choir as the impetus for their choirmaster, a priest played by Catherine McClements, to try to find reason and a way through the aftermath.

It's a show of multiple parts - scenes between McClements and Jonny Carr (playing roles from the killer to McClements' partner, as well as other involved parties), and interactions with the choir (played by various community choirs - on the night I saw it, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir). The opening song appears to be from the choir's repertoire (the well-known Elvis classic "Can't Help Falling in Love With you"), with the remaining songs with lyrics by Grieg and music by John Browne. And it's these remaining songs that are where an issue arises, which is that these songs haven't been written to best effect for a choir - quite simply, the lyrics are not very comprehensible. And if these lyrics contain exposition and thematic exploration, you're pretty much experiencing the show with a limb chopped off.

McClements and Carr deliver strong performances, and the scenes develop a strong sense of the quest for clarity that is never really available - but the choir element, while being the central attraction and promotion element (and certainly adding a tonne of production value) ends up being a mixed blessing.

No comments:

Post a Comment