Review: Hostage Song, Finborough Theatre

“Why won’t God deliver me, oh I may never know”

You don’t get many hostage stories in musical theatre so the allure of the Finborough’s Hostage Song was one that proved intriguingly strong, sufficiently so to overcome my natural antipathy to anything that describes itself as an indie rock musical. But though the band onstage is full of boys dressed in black who look like they need a pie, the music of composer and lyricist Kyle Jarrow, in conjunction with Clay McLeod Chapman’s abstract book, makes for a pleasingly different piece of musical theatre.

In an unspecified country (albeit one which has experienced some kind of US military intervention), reporter Jennifer and Pentagon contractor Jim have been blindfolded, handcuffed and kept prisoner by unseen captors. To pass the time and to help try and keep a hold on their sanity, they play games of I-Spy, tell stories of their lives in flashbacks (and forwards), even go on pretend dates to help keep spirits up. Chapman’s book shudders around this timeframe with a hallucinatory energy that always keeps us on our toes and thus makes the amplified indie rock seem a more appropriate choice. Continue reading “Review: Hostage Song, Finborough Theatre”