The Lion***** (St James Studio)

Posted: August 22, 2014 in Theatre

the lionSt James Studio is more like a cocktail lounge than a 1960s-style folk club; gone are the smoke and the seediness, but it is here that the spirit of Guthrie, Seeger and Dylan lives on. Coming from a privileged background, Benjamin Scheuer is perhaps more suited to this air of opulence; financial hardship and political activism do not influence any of his lyrics, yet the songs are heartfelt expressions of the pain and joy of living. This is a 75 minute solo gig in which Scheuer perches on stools and accompanies himself on six guitars (five acoustic, one electric), paying tribute to a father who instilled in him a love of music. “The Lion” is a metaphor for the courage to face life’s challenges head on and, here, Scheuer’s autobiographical lyrics take us through a troubled relationship with his father, an ill-fated romance and a battle with cancer. The storytelling is vivid and deeply moving and the music complements the words perfectly. Scheur’s voice is crystal clear, rich and mellow, with touches of gravel when the lyrics are at their most anguished. There is nothing new or earth-shattering here, but this show is exquisite in its simplicity and very close to perfection.

Performance date: 21 August 2014

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