Banjo Man

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (theatre): Banjo Man at Laughing Horse @ The Blind Poet (Venue 271). Review by Sally Stott.

If you’re awesome like me you’ll remember the Nineties hit Swamp Thing. It’s one of the few, perhaps the only, pop songs featuring a banjo to top the UK charts – one that is played by Quina Chapman’s father.

In this, her one-woman show, she pays tribute to him following his unexpected death five years ago. A talented singer herself, with a rich soulful voice, she charts the time they spent together during her childhood through imaginative songs and upbeat poetry she has written. Between set pieces, innocuous seeming objects filled with deeper significance are poignantly pinned to a washing line.

A series of snapshots rather than the deeper analysis of life, death and grief offered by other shows at the Fringe covering similar subject matter – including So it Goes and Beowulf: The Blockbuster – it builds to some striking moments.

A song formed of comments on YouTube from Swamp Thing’s fans shows how modern technology can create a living memorial. And when father and daughter get to finally play and sing together thanks to an old film it’s a moving moment that proves how music can bring hope even at the most difficult of times.

Until 24 August. Today 12:15pm, more info.

Originally published in The Scotsman

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