WhirlyGig – Traverse Theatre

Created by Daniel Padden

Co-Produced with Red Bridge Arts and Catherine Wheels Co-Produced

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In association with Catherine Wheels and Red Bridge Arts, Daniel Padden’s WhirlyGig lays bare the components of sound, how ridiculous it can be to play with, and the fun in how a single note can curve an entire composition. By tearing up the rulebook when it comes to orchestral arrangements, WhirlyGig succeeds in creating a wholly new sound through the slashing of score sheets, hops and jumps, taps and whistles.

WhirlyGig isn’t just a selection of noises, though: it’s an anatomy of music. Energy ripples throughout Padden’s composition, with its stiller moments allowing us to draw breath. Musicians Claire Willoughby, Rory Clark, Rory Haye and Sita Pieraccini play with a hoard of instruments, bottles, vocals and their bodies. Notable pieces include the four musicians synchronising in an impressive looped beat. The quartet play off one another – not only instrumentally, but in personality and comedic turns, showcasing how no two musicians have the same style, control, and, in some flawed circumstances, timing. Alison Brown’s vibrant costume design and Sergey Jakovsky’s subtle yet carnivalesque lighting add depth and charm to this production. 

As a whole, musical arrangements have no restrictions as to the age they inspire: pieces can strike anyone, at any age, at any time. WhirlyGig’s topsy-turvy vibrancy and playfulness with a melody which has the potential to capture young creative minds, and rejuvenates a passion for a pure form of cobbled-together music for everyone.

Review originally published for The Skinny: https://www.theskinny.co.uk/theatre/shows/reviews/whirlygig-traverse-theatre-edinburgh

Photo credit – CatherineWheels Theatre Company


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