Peter Straker’s Brel
Belgian chanteur Brel’s life explored in song, costumes and storytelling
This article is from 2012.
Jamaica born Peter Straker has been involved in British TV, music, and theatre for decades – he’s been in Doctor Who, collaborated with Freddie Mercury and starred in Hair and Phantom of the Opera amongst other things. In this latest show however, he pays tribute to the influential Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel.
Not only covering Brel’s songs – ‘Amsterdam’, ‘Jacky’, ‘If You Go Away’ and more – Straker gives the audience a glimpse into the musician’s life. He immerses himself in the character, using costume, props and lighting to give a more theatrical performance, plus video and audio clips as well as telling his own stories about Brel.
Straker gives a powerful and energetic performance which the audience enthusiastically responded to. Although most likely to appeal to Brel enthusiasts or fans of Straker himself, it would be easy for someone with a knowledge of neither to enjoy the show, as the songs are likeable and catchy and Straker is a talented performer.
Assembly Hall, 623 3030, until 26 Aug (not 20), 6pm, £13-£14 (£12-£13).