||[May. 10th, 2016|11:04 am]
If I hadn't already booked tickets for Woody Sez, we would have been in Sunderland last Friday, to hear Bryan and Mary Talbot talking about their new book, The Red Virgin, a life of Louise Michel.
Because that's how life goes: you wait years to be entertained by a biography of a left-wing hero, and then two come along together.
Woody Sez is a show about Woody Guthrie, of course. I keep wanting to say it's a one-man show, because that's the format, though there's a cast of four, and while David Lutken devised the show and plays Woody throughout (from the age of three onwards), the other three performers play everyone else, and many - many - instruments too. They are Eleanor Brunsdon, Ruth Clarke-Irons and Will Wolfe Hogan (according to the website for the current UK tour, since the flier handed out at the theatre wasn't giving that sort of information).
Likewise, it wasn't until I started writing this that I realised the show isn't new: this Guardian review was published in January 2011. Then again, a show about Woody Guthrie doesn't get old. I didn't learn much about Guthrie that I hadn't already known. I suspect the text relies heavily on his own writing, which seems a good choice for what is essentially a celebration, and a showcase for the songs - and what else would you want it to be?