Who doesn’t love John Lennon?
The Beatles co-founder revolutionized music as we know it and became the face of unity, harmony and screen-printed T-shirts.
Scott wants nothing more than to follow the footsteps of his idol. Sick of having his music ridiculed by his oppressive mother, Scott (played by Emerson Brophy) packs his piano into a suitcase and flies to London to make the big time.
Trevor Gibson’s musical production Songwriter is loosely based on his own life and chronicles the life of a young Perth musician in the 70s who must battle for his art to be heard.
It’s a theme that should resonate with musicians and creatives alike. Unfortunately, the production falls flat with overacting, cheesy dialogue and a somewhat disconcerting Lennon caricature who leers from the corner of the room and drawls in a cringeworthy Scouse accent.
Intended to be Scott’s muse and guiding light, the spirit of Lennon instead becomes a sort of rambling looney that spouts non-sequiturs and Beatles puns with all the subtlety of a yellow submarine.
The character is certainly an interesting premise, but would have benefitted from a more active role in the production.
Brophy has a sweet-sounding voice and there are some catchy original tunes as well as classic Lennon covers that will stay stuck in your head long after the show.
However, the chemistry between Scott and his love interest Jessica is scarcely believable, going from strangers to soulmates faster than you can say “come together”.
The almost awkward pair are done no favours by a cheap script and little in the way of set environment. Still, the smooth rocking of the guitarist and the excellent pipes of vocal group Greek Chorus had a few heads in the crowd bopping up and down.
All said, it’s a quirky journey that simply lacks a bit of substance. It’s possible that the script reads better in the source material, Trevor Gibson’s Shirtless on the Green Lino.
Songwriter might appeal to diehard Lennon fans, or those searching for nostalgic hit of Perth in the 70s. Personally, I’d rather just imagine.