One-person shows always make a strong showing in fringe festivals. It is a place where creators can share work in a small space at minimal cost to get feedback or to showcase pieces in different stages of development.
Included in the shows offered at this year’s digital Edinburgh Fringe, comes Hollow. It is a musical from performer David Kent and collaborator Dereck Walker, weaving supernatural stories with folk melodies.
It has plenty of potential but as yet does not feel like a completed show. We are observers, peeking into part of the creative process, listening to a set of songs. Nice enough, but I wanted a little bit more, although anything celebrating new musical theatre is to be applauded.
A simply filmed piece at 20 minutes, Kent’s story builds into one of love, spirits, and mysterious places. Accompanied by violin and guitar, the tale is in turns mystical and magical, with the vocals and music sharp and clear. I did like how Kent directly involves the audience in his tale between songs, and he is a gifted and interesting storyteller.
I would have liked to see a few changes of scene, perhaps similar to the title card, just to give us a sense of time and place. The visuals, such as they are, definitely take second place to the soundtrack which is a shame given the richness of the lyrics and plot being recounted. It was easy enough as an audience member to put a face to the characters being discussed, but a few visual changes of background or lighting might have brought the piece into sharper life.
Intimate and inviting, Hollow is a sweet piece of theatre which will appeal to those who appreciate song cycles, easy listening, and engrossing storytelling.