More gig-theatre than musical, Cover My Tracks feels like a concert with plot. With just two actors, a guitar and a 10pm start time, the show certainly feels like a departure from traditional theatre.
Their story unfolds like duelling guitars: in one corner, we have Frank (played by Fink), a depressed dreamer disillusioned with the digital era who disappears without a trace, strumming his guitar in the subdued spotlight. In the other, we have Sarah (Jade Anouka), a lover-slash-bandmate on a mission to find him, who stomps across the stage telling the audience what's what.
With enough self-aware satire to undermine the potential pretension, Cover My Tracks conveys heartbreak and loss without feeling self-indulgent. Anouka (who stunned us in the Donmar's Shakespeare's trilogy) captivates, narrating the search for Frank the manic pixie dream boy with accents, caricatures and spoken-word-esque soliloquies in a performance that is both raw and charismatic.
Cover My Tracks is a collaboration between dramatist and musicians. Written by David Greig (The Suppliant Women, Edinburgh, Manchester and The Young Vic) and directed by Max Webster (The Lorax, The Old Vic), the show addresses the impact mental illness has on creativity without romanticising the connection.
Fink, behind hits such as '5 Years Time' and 'L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N', is releasing an eponymous album with songs from the show, like Born to be a Cowboy and Firecracker. Although this might feel like an elaborately orchestrated promotional campaign, the vulnerability of Fink’s songwriter trying to craft an original masterpiece for the 21st century imbues the concept with honesty.
Cover My Tracks is a genre-bending show that grapples with the problem of creating new forms of artistic expression in a post-truth, post-post-modern era. With a running time of 45 minutes, the immersive folk album feels like a personalised antithesis to mass produced pop songs.
|What||Cover My Tracks, Old Vic review|
|Where||The Old Vic, The Cut, London, SE1 8NB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
05 Jun 17 – 17 Jun 17, 10:00 PM – 11:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|