Review: The Lion, St James Studio

“He gave the gift of music to his boy”

Less of a theatre show and more of a confessional cabaret, the positive noises growing around Benjamin Scheuer’s The Lion were such that my perennial fear of missing out on something special kicked in and so I grabbed a late cheap deal to see him in the studio space of the St James Theatre in Victoria. And sure enough, it is a perfectly formed gem, a million miles from conventional musical theatre but packing as big a punch as any 11 o’clock number you’ve ever heard.

The Lion is an autobiographical tale of love and loss, family and music, maths exams and cancer, employing a suite of songs that he uses six guitars to play and which demonstrate a substantial gift for story-telling as well as song-writing, the narrative throughline that emerges is extraordinary. It’s also deceptively simple – the opening number of ‘Cookie Tin Banjo’ has a child-like glee but also contains the beginnings of a tumultuous relationship between father and son. Continue reading “Review: The Lion, St James Studio”