I FOUND MY HORN
by Jonathan Guy Lewis & Jasper Rees.
Trafalgar Studios (Studio 2) 14 Whitehall SW1A 2DY To 3 May 2014.
Mon-Sat 7.45pm Mat Thu, Sat 3pm.
Runs: 1hr 25min No interval.
TICKETS: 0844 871 7632.
Review by Carole Woddis 2 April.
Soul bravely bared in public.
It takes extreme foolishness, or bravery, to bare your soul in public. Arts journalist Jasper Rees has done that. A few years ago, confronting a mid-life crisis and stumbling upon a cure via the resurrection of a long-lost relationship with the French horn he had played as a schoolboy, he produced an autobiography, I Found My Horn.
Cue Jonathan Guy Lewis, actor, writer, director – a promising schoolboy horn player who, like Rees, turned his back on it. The result, a homage to the horn (and maybe in parenthesis the Flanders and Swann song that Introduces it), gives Lewis an opportunity to perform a prodigious acting feat, and a gallery of characters from `Jasper’, to eccentric music teacher, `Cartlidge’, and to `Dave’ Lee, the colourful northern horn player who inspires him to continue his quest to play the solo at the annual British Horn Society concert.
Launched originally in 2008/9 at Chichester, Hampstead and elsewhere, this present incarnation adds fictional, bolshie son, Daniel, and even more alarmingly, the Czech voice of the horn. He wants a say, too.
The result is a remarkably affecting, life-enhancing blast. When life seems meaningless and hopeless the answer can be to change tack and set oneself an impossible goal. The achievement, no matter how less than perfect, will be its own reward.
This truism is delightfully portrayed by Lewis and `Jasper’ in a tone that laced with a light veneer of self-deprecating irony also covers passion, humiliation, frustration, comic observation and much else besides. I Found My Horn, is, after all, the story of an obsession.
It’s a fantastic tour de force by Lewis. And despite one or two surprising production < i>longueurs, by the time we reach `Jasper’’s concert solo and the playing of the Rondo from Mozart’s Horn Concerto no 3, at first haltingly then moving to a triumphant climax, every single audience member, I’d guarantee, is in there with him, willing him – and themselves – on.
We all have to overcome our demons. I Found My Horn gleefully shows how it can be done, no matter how apparently absurd the choice.
Performer: Jonathan Guy Lewis.
Director: Harry Burton.
Designer/Projections: Clarisse O’Dell.
Lighting: Jeremy Coney.
Sound: Sara Hillier.
Costume Designer: Zoe Hamilton-Peters.
Animator and Illustrator: Miguel Domingo-Redondo.
I Found My Horn was first performed 27 June 2008 at Aldeburgh Pumphouse.
First performance of this production wasat Trafalgar Studios, London, 1 April.