If you’re a Neil Young fan (and there were plenty of them at The Promethean – me included) you are going to love this show.
If you’re not… there’s still a very good chance that you’ll like it a lot. Based on the book Neil and Me by Young’s father Scott, and told to us through the character of the father, this Neil Young cabaret show reveals how life as a famous rock star’s father really is.
The structure of the show is a well-worn one – some story and then a song; but the convention works. The well known songs are presented so soundly, the show is engaging all the way through, and sometimes on a very deep level.
The band is hot, the three singers fabulously diverse (as the program promises), and they treat us to all the big hits that we Neil Young freaks of course know every single word of; standouts being Helpless, Heart of Gold, Old Man and Southern Man.
Young has such a distinctive vocal style and vast range that singing his songs could go very wrong – but the voices (and choices from the vocalists) do justice to his wonderful numbers. The three artists present solos, duets and perform together in all kinds of interesting ways.
Actor Patrick Frost plays the Dad who tells us this story, dwelling on the edge of the stage in his writing studio and typing away in his almost successful life as a writer we go there with him… fully. Past tense telling is not easy, immediacy being the actor’s best tool; but Frost brings an experienced complexity, which allows us to see the sadness and regret in the old man’s heart – which lurks in many of the father monologue scenes between the songs.
A great team effort which amply pays tribute to this iconic man of rock and roll… but ultimately the big star of this show is Neil Young’s incredible genius… and we get a chance to remember it and wallow in it for a while here – at The Adelaide Fringe Festival.