Book/Lyrics: Alexander Wright
Director: Tom Bellerby
Design: Ed Sunman
Reviewer: Samantha Currie
The Public Reviews Rating:
Beulah belongs to the #LittleFest programme presented by the Flanagan Collective, described as an “…ever growing and changing group of artists who make stuff, support stuff and like to talk about stuff”.
It’s a gentle folk musical inspired by the writing of William Blake. We all experience ‘Beulah’ when we dream, which Blake defined as a heavenly place; “a mild and pleasant rest between this world and the next”.
The themes of the story include, love, grief, our dreams, and the way in which we measure time. There are two intertwining stories, a boy who dreams of a lion, and the eternal love story of Liam and Lyca.
Beulah is performed by Jim Harbourne and Ed Wren, simply dressed in waistcoats and tweed they invite you into their whimsical musical world. Both are exceptionally talented musicians and singers, the stage is full of musical instruments, including a harp, guitar, harmonium and tin whistle which they effortlessly switch between. There is a great chemistry between them, their performances are warm and both are adept at story telling and humour. Both the song lyrics and spoken word are beautifully and poetically written by Alexander Wright.
The small stage and room are swathed in diaphanous curtains, which help to enhance the theme of dreaming. Props are simple and hang from coat hangers or are held and moved by the actors to represent characters or objects in the story.
This is not a straight forward narrative, at times the stories are difficult to separate and make sense of, as are our dreams. It is an enchanting, moving and riveting show which played to a small but packed house. Utterly spellbinding, thought provoking and highly recommended.
Runs until 27th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: Beulah - C Nova,