People Show, Number 100

Review in Issue 7-1 | Spring 1995

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects with multimedia visual performances can be a loss of vision and clarity in direction and devising. The latest production by the People Show was one such work. Using the life (and death) of the world renowned musician Chet Baker, who died on 13 May 1988 after falling out of a first floor hotel room in Amsterdam, the piece attempted to present images of the artist’s life. Rather than merely presenting an autobiographical reconstruction, the company were more interested in developing images of the man’s life.

There was, indeed, a fine and innovative blend of artistic expressions but one felt that little was actually ‘said’ during the show.

In some cases, one felt the production was devised purely as an opportunity to present the singer’s vocal skills, admirable as they were. However, one felt that more time and effort had been spent on the jazz excerpts than the overall concept.

The use of a video camera to film the audience, behind the scenes, Josette Bushell-Mingo merrily cavorting down The Mall, and the more intricate details of the set, merely had the effect of distracting the audience’s attention from uninspiring stage work.

In all, this was a rather frustrating show. The awkwardly revolving set detracted from any flow the piece may have possessed, and the one clever theatrical progression of performers repeating and slowly extending a set sequence was only played with a few times.

Perhaps a directionless show was the intention, but even that was not clear as the production veered haphazardly from one form of visual expression to another.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1995

This article in the magazine

Issue 7-1
p. 23