REVIEW: THE DOUBLE BASS, BAKEHOUSE THEATRE

A play about a guy talking about the double bass. It’s an original concept for a piece of theatre, and a topic that very few would be experts on.

But The Double Bass, presented by Cranking Hog Productions in the intimate Bakehouse Theatre, creates an engaging 75 minute monologue on just that, the ofttimes overlooked and cumbersome orchestral instrument.

The only play penned by acclaimed German writer, Patrick Suskind, this one man show gives an insight into the life of a classical musician and his solitude. Set in his soundproofed apartment, and over the course of a bevy of alcoholic beverages, the unnamed man recounts his impressive knowledge of classical music history, his love/hate relationship with the instrument that he has picked and intertwines it with a love story.

Adelaide actor and double bass player Eddie Morrison fills the shoes of the musician in a compelling performance. Initially starting off in an almost lecture-like way, after a few drinks the musings turn to his personal life and the struggles of being a musician. This progression was captivating, with Morrison giving off some Phillip Seymour Hoffman vibes as the troubled soul.

Morrison is the focal point for the entirety of the play and it was a performance that sticks with you for hours after the show. He kept a great pace and did Suskind’s script justice. You could truly believe the anguish he felt, describing his tough calloused fingers from years of playing quite a physically demanding instrument, his distaste for Wagner and the longing for his beloved Sarah. The conversational tone throughout draws you in as you discover how much this instrument has taken over his life, but with sprinklings of humour it never languishes into the maudlin.

Director Lisa Harper Campbell has done a fine job of capturing the claustrophobic mood of a musician’s apartment and audiences can expect to come away with a new respect for the instrumental double bass and its players.

The Double Bass can be seen at the Bakehouse Theatre until July 20. Get your tickets here.

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