- David Kettle
- 3 August 2019
How to find yourself through drumming
Young Alfie loves to play the drums. To the point of obsession. To the extent, in fact, that he has room in his mind for little else – school work, friends, family. So when he finds himself propelled into a rock band, he makes a naive decision that has devastating consequences for those around him.
Cédric Chapuis' poignant solo play is at once a coming-of-age drama and a study of music as a crucial outlet for a fractured mind, with the true extent of Alfie's condition only emerging through his encounters with irritated head teachers, school bullies and unexpected girlfriends. There's a lot going on here, but Chapuis spins his threads together elegantly – also drawing in, of course, Alfie's beloved drumming itself.
And Beat's solo performer Daniel Bellus performs a remarkable feat as both actor and expert drummer, delivering licks and rhythms with all the devotion Alfie clearly feels, while bringing to vivid life the boy's wide-eyed naivety and obliviousness to the problems he's causing.
At 75 minutes, Beat might benefit from a little tightening, and its conclusion – though subtly set up – feels unexpectedly shocking. But it's a beautifully crafted show, delivered with panache and searing conviction, and one that packs a deceptively powerful emotional punch.
Pleasance Dome, until 26 August (not 14), 2.30pm, £10.50–£13.50 (£9.50–£12.50).