Vincent – His Quest to Love and Be Loved 4**** - One4Review
one4review | On 13, Aug 2023
Brought to us by South African company, Wela Kapela Productions, Vincent is a musical/cabaret written and directed by Amanda Bothma with musical direction and beautiful piano accompaniment by Germaine Gamiet.
Daniel Anderson, as Vincent, tells us the story of van Gogh through a combination of narrative, letters written to his brother and song. On stage throughout is ‘The Portrait of Dr Gachet’, van Gogh’s painting of the doctor who treated him in later life for depression, which sold recently for $75 million; by contrast, van Gogh only sold one single painting in his lifetime. Illustrated by clever use of song lyrics, Anderson guides us through van Gogh’s life from his early twenties and his reluctance to enter the family business of ‘religion’, to his love of art, desire to be an artist, and his most productive periods as part of the Bohemian set and at Arles, where he also discovered Absinthe. Throughout his life, his quest to find love remained elusive, often falling for women who were unavailable. Ultimately, van Gogh could never lose the feelings of failure and inadequacy which plagued him until his tragic suicide at the early age of 37. Anderson has a great stage presence which keeps the audience enthralled throughout the performance, as well as a powerful and rich singing voice. With great versatility, he treats us to a wide range of songs from Nat King Cole’s ‘Nature Boy’, Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love’ and 4 Non Blondes’s ‘What’s Up?’, ending with Don McLean’s ‘Vincent’, its starry starry nights being a powerful tribute and a perfect way to end the performance.
Sadly, the company are only in Edinburgh for the first week of the Fringe, and the performance of Vincent I saw was their last. However, I’m sure they’ll be back in 2024, so do look out for them at next year’s Fringe, when I’m sure whatever performance they bring will be a must-see!
Reviewed by Howard.
Space Triplex – Studio