Suggs: My Life Story in Words and Music
April 19, 2017
In Suggs: My Life Story in Words and Music, Graham McPherson, the frontman of the seven-piece ska pop ensemble Madness and sometime DJ and television host, takes to the stage in an amusing, and a times moving, theatrical solo show that combines elements of comedy, a play and music hall.
Triggered by the death of his beloved cat on his fiftieth birthday, Suggs embarks on a personal quest to discover what happened to the father he never knew.
Stunned by what he learns, Suggs is taken back to his childhood on the tough streets of 1970ies Soho, his first appearance on Top of the Pops at the age of eighteen, which started his ascent to rockstardom, and his relationship with an absentee dad, who was a heroin addict, zigzagging through his life and culminating in behind-the-scenes tales of his times and shenanigans with Madness.
Underlined and accentuated with musical accompaniment and uncalled for interjections by his sidekick Deano, Suggs reminisces, tells funny anecdotes and performs cover versions and stripped down renditions of his own emissions.
McPherson’s charisma along with his experience as a performer and raconteur carries the autobiographical monologue along and makes it an engaging show, which is in essence an intimate memoir with an emphasis on personal revelations.
McPherson’s reflective, self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek take on things and his cheeky swagger lend the stories authenticity.
His anecdotes are well-paced / phrased, calibrated to circumvent nostalgia and sentimentality and his punchlines are delivered with the timing of a seasoned standup.
Suggs: My Life Story is a theatrical companion piece to the Madness shows, who are currently touring Australia, and while ample references are made to the constituents of his outfit, being a connoisseur of the band is not a prerequisite for having an enjoyable evening with the insights of Suggs.
My Life Story in Words and Music will be in Perth at the Astor Theatre on Saturday April 22 and in Melbourne at the Comedy Theatre on Monday April 24.
Image from Suggs McPherson website
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