WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2
WHERE: Old Vic
WHEN: 9/6, runs to 17/6
‘Gig theatre’ is the term used to describe this 70-minute show currently running on the same stage as John Boyega’s Woyzeck just half an hour after its curtain down.
- Read on for reasons including why Jade Anouka is the most charismatic actor of the moment
Cover My Tracks features songs from the just-out debut solo album of the same name by former Noah and The Whale frontman Charlie Fink who also performs them here accompanied only by his own guitar.
Fink also interacts with Anouka who tells the story of working in a hotel, meeting a suicidal pop star threatening to throw himself from his room’s window, how they fall in love, he goes missing and she hits the road to try to find him.
Anouka won our best theatre actress monsta last year and, for us, she’s the most charismatic actor London currently boasts. Here she is so engaging she makes every audience member feel as though they have a front row seat to everything she’s feeling wherever in this impressive venue that they’re actually sitting.
We’re listening to Fink’s album as we write (you can buy the CD in the foyer) and if we had one criticism of this show it is that it’s difficult to fully appreciate it when hearing the songs for the first time.
The show’s simplicity means that there’s a lack of variety to the way the songs are performed exemplified perhaps by the dotty ditty referred to as ‘The Hit’ which dogs the pop star and he loathes. I Was Born To Be A Cowboy is given the full Eurovision treatment as Anouka dons Stetson and do-si-dos about the stage to a song so preposterous and realistic, crucially, it does sound like the sort of tune that could please every audience.
Director and co-writer David Greig collaborated with Fink on The Lorax, which we weren’t expecting to love and returns to the Vic later this year, and they’ve another winner on their hands with this moving, poetic and beautiful attempt to do something a little different.
It’s not on for long, so do seek it out, and, like The Lorax, we wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t staged repeatedly at this venue developing a reputation for attracting a younger, more cosmopolitan audience within its walls.