Exploring the wisdom of Woody Guthrie
This article is from 2007.
Although the pop star world-saving concert is something we have become accustomed to in recent years, the politically aware musician is not a new invention. Long before Sir Bono or Sir Geldof, storytelling songwriter Woody Guthrie had hits describing the events that unfolded around him. Nick Corley’s production follows the life of Guthrie from his melancholy childhood in Oklahoma to his travels across the United States during the Great Depression, through his time in the Merchant Navy to his tragic death from Huntington’s disease.
This narrated musical story transports the audience to a different age, with the enthusiastic quartet of performers creating a picaresque journey of the imagination, and Guthrie’s songs proving a welcome companion. Broadway actor and recording artist David Lutken effortlessly excels as the eponymous lead, supported by a multi-talented cast accompanying the songs on fiddles, guitars and even a dobro (yes, a dobro). A stirring mix of moving ballads and upbeat foot-tappers make this a must see for fans of the man who inspired Bob Dylan, and a long overdue introduction to a folk legend for newcomers. (David Laing)
UdderBELLY’s Pasture, 0870 745 3083, until 27 Aug (not 14), 1.35pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).