Jacques Brel - Peter Straker 2012

On Saturday night I found myself at the LOST Theatre (London Oratory School of Theatre). It is a new venue for me. I discovered that it was open just over 2 years ago. Housed in a modern building this “intimate” theatre seats 180 spectators and provides a variety of shows. I was drawn to it by the tribute Peter Straker is paying to Jacques Brel and on the strength of that show; I will no doubt go again to enjoy the Morley Accordion Orchestra. For more info about The LOST Theatre Programme click here.



In this show Straker keeps the flame burning. He has made a “live” documentary with clips of Brel himself being interviewed in French with subtitles. A series of short and incisive comments on life, Brel himself shares his thoughts with us but adds that they are only his outlook on life and that a philosopher should be called in to delve deeper into his off the cuff statements. Straker uses the well-known Mort Shuman's translations for most Chansons but he is also using Peter Kenvin’s translations for the lyrics of Madame and Flat Lands (Le plat pays) amongst others. The score has also been re-arranged for guitar, piano and bass. Straker made sure that the music still very much enhances the words which are of the utmost importance in the case of the French Chanson and of Jacques Brel in particular. One of the comments I had was: "He is really charismatic and brings an intense theatricality to the songs as only an Actor with such a unique voice could."

The good news is that it is not all lost as the show is on again at The LOST theatre on Sunday 8th July 2012.