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Posts Tagged ‘Max Alexander-Taylor’

Songwriter Benjamin Scheuer wrote this autobiographical one-man musical for himself, and he performed it 500 times on both sides of The Atlantic. Now it’s time to see if it works with others as him, in this case Max Alexander-Taylor.

Scheuer was born and brought up in New York City with his two younger brothers. His mother was British and his father an American mathematician, and a wannabe singer. He tells his story from aged 3 to 30. His relationship with his father was problematic. He dropped out and became a singer-songwriter. When his dad died, the family moved to the UK, but he returned alone to NYC where he meets his girlfriend, but she sets off to see the world on her own just before he is diagnosed with cancer. His family return to help him through.

This story is told in both dialogue and song. Any thoughts that it is a song cycle are banished by the seamlessness of the transitions, the songs carrying as much of the storytelling weight as the dialogue. You really do get drawn in and become completely wrapped up in the story, and the life. This is helped significantly by Max’s audience engagement, greeting us on arrival and making eye contact with what seems like every single one. There’s an incredible warmth about the evening.

I never saw Scheuer tell his own story, but on this evidence it works well when the responsibility passes to someone else. A 75 minute gem.

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