Theatre, Dance and Comedy
Rick Foot and Keith James
Lorca at the Lowry
John Robb (show: 10/02/08)
Keith James and Rick Foot have taken Federico García Lorca’s poems, set them to music, and mixed them with covers of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Tim Buckley and Nick Drake in an evening that entertains and educates.
Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet who was murdered by Franco's Fascists in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The reasons for his death are murky but the fact that he was a brilliant poet and artist with a pronounced social consciousness was never going to find him any favour with the ignorant fascist bullies, and as a result, the world lost a brilliantly creative mind.
Lorca's surrealistic words stand the test of time and their power is undiminished by the decades. The exalted company of the chosen covers of respected singer songwriters of recent times only further serves to underline his genius.
The night begins with a short film, 'García Lorca, a death in Granada', explaining who Lorca was and his brief flicker of life near the burning flame of white heat creativity in a dangerous decade.
It is a brilliantly executed performance that takes Keith’s acoustic guitar and haunting vocals and combines them with some breathtaking double bass work from Rick that really brings the poems to life and sets Lorca’s pop culture contribution into context, underlining how his influence has far outlived the disastrous and ignorant fascists who won the Spanish Civil War.
The two musicians have a great humility to their performance and the intimacy of the show makes it feel like a shared celebration. They are delivering a very difficult task - celebrating a long dead poet in a modern context - and succeeding, with flawless musicianship and spot on vocals.
If Lorca is a name you vaguely knew before you went, you leave the theatre with a headful of ideas - and that’s the real power of this show; not does it keep the flame alive of a humanistic poet genius but it passes it on through the generations. Genuinely inspirational.
last updated: 15/02/2008 at 15:52