Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

Three Chords and the Truth

Like a lot of people, I'd heard of Woody Guthrie because of Bob Dylan.

A couple of years ago I bought a cheap best-of in Fopp to see what it was like. I liked what I heard and discovered what a huge influence he'd had on Dylan and on the Byrds, to name but two.

This year a musical based on Woody's life and works came to the Arts Theatre a couple of streets away from my workplace. I was pleased, intrigued and a little sceptical, and last night I went along to check it out.

A simple but beautiful backdrop of a sunset over farmland, a dozen assorted instruments dotted around the stage, and a cast of four playing a rag while they waited for the audience to take their seats.

The actor playing Woody announced "Woody sez: please turn off your mobiles, beepers and bleepers and pods and pads and berries and anything else that's been invented in the last two weeks".

The real action opened with a quote from The Odyssey, by which time I was completely won over.

I've read Bound for Glory, so I was braced for sad bits, and there were plenty of them. But there was also lots of humour and breaking the fourth wall ("Fill it up with gasoline - that's 'petrol' to you folks").

The cast - two men and two women - all played and sang well, and what's more they put heart and soul into it. They weren't just playing a part, they were performing for the love of music and Woody - or else acting quite incredibly well.

I won't be spoilering too much if I reveal that they ended with 'This Land Is Your Land' and we all clapped along.

On Saturdays after the evening performance, there's a Hootenanny to which you're encouraged to bring your gittars and harmonicas and spoons. I'm tempted.

Satisfied that they weren't selling Woody out, I bought a 'This Machine Kills Fascists' sticker to put on my scooter.
Tags: music, theatre

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