Sonata For A Man And A Boy @ The Macrobert
A well-dressed man in a grey suit and bare feet sits on a black workbench. As the audience - consisting mainly of schoolchildren - shuffles in, he begins to play with some wooden figurines, whistling. "Are you ready?" he asks. Moments later, he asks again, and a young boy appears from behind the bench. Thus we launch into Greg Sinclair's latest production, Sonata For A Man And A Boy. For those who have taken music lessons, the script seems all too familiar.
Through his enthusiastic performance as the music teacher, Sinclair demonstrates how a grown man can behave in a more childish manner than his student - played by Bartek Bialucki. Role reversal ensues; the adult shows off his skills to the younger performer, while also picking up a toy car and driving it around the room. A game of 'catch me if you can' sees the man outrun by the boy, at which point the former uses his authority to bring a halt to the game altogether.
We witness the frustration of the skilled musician at his inability to play a specific bar of music - yet is it the boy or is it the man? At first, the roles shift back and forth quite clearly, but very quickly the boundaries begin to blur. In spite of a few moments where the action seems unnecessary to the telling of the story, overall this is a duet that is both thought-provoking, and amusing. It is not just the quality of the music that makes this piece, but also the way in which the cellos are played - it can only be described as outside the box. [Eric Karoulla]