Melbourne, Melbourne Fringe 2015

One Show to Rule them All, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015

0 Comments 02 October 2015

One Show to Rule them All, the brainchild of Don Jordan, is a recital of music inspired by JRR Tolkein’s fantasy saga, The Lord of the Rings. The Windjammer Brass Ensemble accompanies baritone Robert Dora and soprano Samantha Fraser in the performance of Donald Swann’s 1967 song cycle The Road Goes Ever On (for brass) but the program also includes new songs composed by Jordan himself, as well as Mateusz Gwizdalla (trumpet, flugelhorn) and Nikola Shaw (trombone).

The performance space is wonderful; St Stephen’s Anglican Church is light and spacious.  The performance is of a high standard and the acoustics of the church only enhances the experience. In particular, the two flugelhorns accompanying soprano is a lovely moment. Overall, the two soloists do a fine job, though Dora has a bit of a cold and Fraser faces challenges of her own (namely, Elvish).

Jordan’s enthusiastic reading of the synopsis provides a theatrical flair, but their incomplete overview of the text probably might not make a lot of sense to people who aren’t familiar with Tolkein’s work. This isn’t a problem though; in general, the songs do not require contextualisation.

The style of music is a bit old-fashioned and may have a limited appeal; perhaps among those who have a particular interest in Tolkein’s works or Donald Swann. Though One Show to Rule them All is an unusual addition to the Melbourne Fringe Festival Program it is an unpretentious, enthusiastic and certainly unique one. And there is a delicious supper provided afterward; hopefully this will catch on.

“One Show To Rule Them All” from 1st-3rd October, 8pm (3pm Sunday) at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, 306 Church Street, Richmond.  Tickets $23, $18. 9660 9600

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