Review: The Slow Songs Make Me Sad, VAULT Festival

Chloe Bezer’s The Slow Songs Make Me Sad is gently charming but surprisingly revelatory too at VAULT Festival

“On a scale of 1-10, how stressful do you find this experience?”

The Slow Songs Make Me Sad helpfully comes with a sub-title to do the job of summarising the show for me – a one-woman comedy musical about post-natal depression. But as is often the way, the description only scratches the surface of what this piece of theatre is, something rather unique in the scope of its personal revelation and its format too, this is not your average comedy musical.

For writer/performer Chloe Bezer is a musician, a fantastic cellist to be precise here, and a musician who doesn’t like to listen to music because…the slow songs make her sad. And whilst her show centres on her own experience of post-natal depression, it also uses it as a springboard to delve into some of lesser-shared truths about new motherhood and mental health.

Dipping into her own childhood, as well as her ongoing experiences with her kids, Bezer draws the threads about the intense emotional connection that accompanies making music, indeed the art of performance itself too, and there’s something deeply fascinating about the intimacy of the storytelling here, I was transfixed at times.

Tom Malcolm Wright’s direction ensures a measure of variety comes through the presentation though, to lighten the tone somewhat. Some gently amusing forays into the audience are charmingly (or terrifyingly if you know what coulrophobic means…) done and the inventiveness with which Bezer’s songs utilise so many different ways of playing the cello is always a treat.

Running time: 60 minutes (without interval)
The Slow Songs Make Me Sad is booking at VAULT Festival until 9th March

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