Old Joint Stock Theatre
Runs: 2h 05m, till Sat 14 09 (though Sold Out)
Review: Alexander Ray Edser, 12 09 13
It’s rough round the edges, strangely moving, and clearly has a cult following.
HEDVIG sits mid-way between being a rock gig and a play. As a work it is totally committed to its own hybrid style and Nigel Francis’ commitment to his performance is just as total. It’s his energy and, as a performer vulnerability, that engages us with the show.
Hedvig Robinson, ‘song stylist’, was created in East Berlin as a means of escaping from communism into the West. She was born a boy, underwent reassignment surgery to get married to Luther, and thereby ended up in the US. Divorced there, she eventually falls for another performer, transforms his life, and is subsequently dumped by him.
The show, though, is about survival and the ending moments, incorporating intriguing transformations, are uplifting; we are buoyed up by the pounding rhythm of LIFT UP YOUR HEAD.
Nigel Francis performs the demanding title role with great energy and truth; he is partnered by Sarah Moore as Yitzak who has her own moments and is full of surprises. Both have great singing voices.
The backing group play and sing terrifically well; in the intimate Old Joint Stock performing space, while the music is loud, it it never allowed to become overbearing. The whole adds up to an entertaining, unusual and absorbing performance.
Hedvig: Nigel Francis
Yitzak: Sarah Moore
Directed by: Nigel Francis