The Gray Cat and the Flounder
- Claire Sawers
- 21 August 2019
This article is from 2019
Idiosyncratic musical theatre
The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble bring this gentle musical theatre oddity, to be enjoyed through headphones. It's the tale (based on a true story, involving humans and their romances) of an unlikely romance between a cat and a fish; she loves books and sings songs about the cataloguing system in the library where she works, and he copes with tough times by drawing.
There are various mini chapters – an animated slideshow, a shadow puppet ballet about the Queen of the Collywobbles, a love song with Disney-style vocals – all accompanied by music from the excellent PNME, playing live on stage, through the headphones and sometimes in the crowd, with cello, violin, glockenspiel and booming timpani.
The bookish elements, cat puns and tongue twistery wordplay give the feeling of a lo-fi, American spin on TS Eliot's 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats', with added kids' drawings and stories of rockets and picnics. It's not all rainbows and unicorns though – the tale takes a sad, dark turn towards the end. A man in a bow tie and braces adds a high brow, Frasier style voiceover, and the quirky, rhyming style is reminiscent of a Dr Seuss story set to music.
Assembly George Square Studios, until Aug 22, 2.05pm, £10–£12 (£11–£13).