The Cold Record is full of intrigue and surprises from the get-go.
Audience members are sent instructions via email for a task they must complete prior to attending the show and told to meet at one location from where they will be led to a secret location. I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
The brief description in the program gave nothing away. What I saw was a brilliant performance and cleverly executed piece of theatre that is bound to confound.
On arrival at the secret location, the small, intimate audience – approximately 20 people soon realised we were in for something quite different from the typical theatre performance.
We were told to help ourselves to a beer or soft drink from the waiting eskys and take a seat in a semi-circle of chairs.
Our host – the performer in this one man show – sat in a chair in front of us with a tape deck on a table beside him.
Once we were seated the show commenced with the audience being asked to reveal and explain their individual responses to the email task we had been set.
This was cause for much laughter and some ‘chair dancing’.
The second half of the show saw our host take on the persona of a twelve-year-old boy telling the story of how he was attempting to break the record for the most number of days off school with a fever – The Cold Record – and his love of music and the school nurse.
As the story unfolded, I felt myself relating to the character and feeling quite emotional as the memories of the music transported me back to my childhood and youth.
One moment I was laughing and smiling, the next I felt close to tears. Looking around the room it was obvious my fellow audience members were uncovering their own music-related memories.
As the performance progressed the audience became part of the show – characters in a complex twelve year old’s life.
We were invited into his home and his thoughts.
Minimal props were used sparingly but further ingrained us in the story.
It is hard to really explain this show without giving too much away.
Besides we were made to promise never to speak about what we had witnessed ‘or else we would be kicked out’.
What I can say is… If you love music, if you believe in the power of music, if you want to be truly moved by a piece of theatre then The Cold Record is a must-see.
Music has the power to take us back in time, to transport us to faraway places, to remind us of lost youth, love lost and found, lost ones, good and bad times and this is the essence of the show.