Sing, River

Original Showing: Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Review By: Brian Merriman

Pleasance Courtyard Bunker 1
Time 12.45
Duration 60 minutes
Produced by Love Song Productions.
Written and performed by Nathaniel Jones  

There is an additional challenge at any Fringe in trying to create theatrical ‘magic’ in barren spaces. I've sat in a Yurt, two rooms with a 6'x6' corner performance space, a blue shipping container with very comfortable seats, and now a grim bunker with very uncomfortable short backed benches. And yet, there was magic. 

Love Song productions steer off the mainstream in this queer folk musical to fine effect. Our hero (Jones) is a gentle man with a gentle manner. He croons his original songs with an ease and innocence as he longs for earlier times of a golden age of Druids and Gods that granted wishes if the offering was appropriate.

He came out at 18 only to reflect after a series of failed relationships that his 'first love' may not have been that. His memory, triggered by reminiscence begins to clear, and he considers how youth, alcohol and a desire to be loved, does not actually mean consent. 

He has no wish to be a victim, and that permeates the innocence and honesty in which his exploration of the past unfolds a darker story through aurally pleasing songs and a warm, sincere delivery. 

Sing, River is a new chapter in exploring theatrical genres for experiences and identities only visible in more recent times. It is well constructed, written, delivered and sung and well worth a visit.