Theatre review: Hearts of Folk
Theatre review: Hearts of Folk

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Hearts of Folk, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock ★★★★ This ensemble comedy from young company TalkSimple is somewhat DIY and the overarching story doesn’t hit each beat quite as sweetly as we might like it to, but whoever wrote the gags is a keeper. The play tells of touring …

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Edinburgh Festival

Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Hearts of Folk, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock

★★★★

This ensemble comedy from young company TalkSimple is somewhat DIY and the overarching story doesn’t hit each beat quite as sweetly as we might like it to, but whoever wrote the gags is a keeper.

The play tells of touring folk band Hearts of Folk and it’s thick with jokes which understand the world the story inhabits perfectly, raising laugh after laugh. In turn, we’re introduced to eager session muso Theo, plucked from obscurity to play guitar by prima donna lead singer Alice, who plays up her non-existent traveller heritage at every opportunity; Lauren, failed solo singer and disastrous onstage conversationalist and Peter, ex-military man and renaissance folkie in a flat cap of the sort Bob Dylan or Jeremy Corbyn might sport.

It’s Peter who’s the finest comic creation here. Decrying Theo’s “Indian rosewood amateurism” and chastising Lauren for using phrases like “déjà vu” in place of “sturdy Anglo-Saxon words”, he proclaims that “folk springs forth from the indomitable will of the English people”.

The French words thing is given some sweetly struck callbacks throughout the show, as is the fact that Alice only writes one recurring song entitled A Brave Young Soldier/Sailor/Pizza Delivery Boy Courted Me, and if the whole thing gets a bit too frantic and madcap as Theo uncovers the fate of their previous guitarist, the rest is funny enough that you too will forget the industrial revolution ever happened.

Paradise in the Vault (Venue 29), run ended

Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015

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