If this sounds confusing, then it should. Malloy is the architect of a strange, circular tale of family, betrayal and loss which we never fully comprehend, but which somehow oddly feels as if we've been listening to our whole lives, like a long-forgotten melody from our youth.
We meet the Ghost Quartet – Carly Bawden, Niccolò Curradi, Maimuna Memon and Zubin Varla – in a setting that resembles a dusty attic or quirky occult shop. Old books and worn trunks are piled up on the floor. The cast of four casually saunter onto the stage, warmly greeting the audience and introducing the feeling of an intimate concert.
We then sit back to listen to an unsettling yet entrancing story told through an album format, each song introduced as a track. The cast narrate a mysterious fable about two sisters who are lost in time and are repeatedly reincarnated through the years. There’s an astronomer, a soldier, a bear, and a whole lot of whisky drinking. The entire plot is an intoxicating synthesis of literary sources ranging from Arabian Nights to Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven and Grimms' Fairy Tales. All the while, an unseen spectre hangs over the play, haunting the characters who cannot seem to escape from their past lives.
Bravado vocals, especially from Bawden and Memon, resonate through the in-the-round setting as they flit through different musical styles, from country ditties sung to the the plangent tune of folk instruments to funky electro pop. The natural ease of the performers is what makes the whole evening so delightful as they deliver generous servings of (gallows) humour and encourage the audience to drink and strum along, turning the whole thing into a feverish seance. Watching on the eve of Halloween, one feels like the spirits are laughing along too.
|What||Ghost Quartet, Boulevard Theatre review|
|Where||Boulevard Theatre, 6 Walker’s Court Soho , London, W1F 0BT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Piccadilly Circus (underground)|
24 Oct 19 – 04 Jan 20, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information and tickets|