Company: Stumblebum Productions, Ottawa, ON
Venue: 12 - WAG - Muriel Richardson Auditorium
It’s ultimately dry, paint-by-numbers biography, and it seems unclear on its focus.
A musical journey through the life of Thomas Moore, the Bard of Ireland, Melody Moore
aims to capture the passion of the poet and songwriter's life. It unfortunately falls short of that mark.
Writer/performer Richard Hanna plays Moore, and a variety of other characters, as he follows the 19th century poet's life from childhood through his career as an "erotic versifier" to a greater maturity as a champion for Irish sovereignty.
The show is sprinkled with Moore's music, performed wonderfully by Hanna on harp. He has a lovely singing voice, and finds the poetry in Moore's music.
He's also a more than capable performer, and handles a range of characters and accents smoothly.
So where does Melody Moore
hit a sour note? Well, it's ultimately dry, paint-by-numbers biography. And it seems unclear on its focus. Do we really need to see Moore's days as a schoolboy to understand him? And why does the play screech to a halt where it does?
While fans of traditional Irish music will be pleased with Hanna's skill as a musician, the writing between songs simply fails to engage us in Moore's story.
It's just a little shy of harmonious Fringe theatre.