Mayfest 2012: Garage Band

26 05 2012

The first task of Garage Band was to find the garage where it was being staged. Turns out that not many garages in St Werburgh’s stage a Mayfest show at 2pm in the afternoon, and if that’s not clue enough, the smell of a barbecue was like catnip on a hot day.

Garage Band, written, designed and directed by Richard Allen, is inspired by Tom McCarthy’s novel Remainder.

Set during a band practise in a garage in Conduit Place, just round the corner from the Duke of York pub, the lead singer takes us back to a strange accident involving an object falling from the sky, and then tries to piece his memory back together.

David Reeves, credited in the programme as simply The Singer, is a convincingly gawky and thickly bespectacled lead in the image of Elvis Costello or Buddy Holly, with a vacant sense of otherness.

Covers of songs by bands such as Grandaddy and Weezer are interspersed with flashes of memories, as the band’s bass player (Alec Hughes) and drummer (Joseph Varley) prat about in increasingly ludicrous situations.

Garage Band told a story of someone living in a very damaged mind, and might have benefitted from being darker.

Instead, the issues in this fun and original production were dealt with by humour and kindness, with a constantly versatile and surprising set squeezed into a garage you should try to find.

Garage Band is being performed tomorrow (Sunday, May 27) at 2pm and 6pm. For more information, visit www.mayfestbristol.co.uk/mayfest2012_event/garage-band.