Entertainment Hive 2020

The Composer Is Dead

Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Saturday, June 11

Review by Honey B

All of the musicians in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra are looking guilty. Why? Because the composer is dead! Never fear, Inspector Frank Woodley is on the case with his pencil, notebook and gaffer tape moustache. On a well-orchestrated journey, Woodley as the Inspector systematically questions each section of the orchestra as to their whereabouts on the night in question. He finds each section has a plausible excuse from the violins waltzing the night away to the cellos and basses providing the one, two, three beats. The whiney violas have to pack up the chairs after the concert, the flutes are busy making bird noises throughout, the brass section loves a noisy, patriotic parade and the who can understand the French horns? Woodley leaps and contorts around the stage in a madcap role that is a superb fit for the gloriously absurd comedian. It’s almost as if the show was written with Woodley in mind, however it was created by author Lemony Snicket and composer Nathan Stookey. The script was witty and on tune and my favourite line came as Woodley described a composer as someone who “sits in a room muttering and humming to figure out what notes the orchestra is going to play.’’. But Woodley told the audience the composer was not muttering and composing last night, he was not even moving or breathing – “this is called decomposing.’’ Boom-tish! Back in the day, we were introduced to the workings of an orchestra through Sergei Prokofiev’s moving tale of Peter and the Wolf. This classic orchestral who done it, is a much more light-hearted way to meet each section of the orchestra and Woodley takes his young charges on a merry dance of laughter and learning. A hilariously note-worthy performance.
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