The Other Palace
Reviewed – 17th May 2018
“I loved the aesthetic of the piece, creatively and visually, however it felt a tad muddled at times”
Suicide is a new musical, exploring the growing issue of male suicide, which had a successful run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe; it has now been reworked and premieres at The Other Palace. It follows the life of John (Harlie Sutherland) a real estate agent stuck in his disappointing life, and his conscience (Sherwood Alexander as light conscience and Calum Sivyer as dark conscience).
When you think of a musical titled Suicide, the last thing you would think of is comedy. However that’s what is provided here alongside a powerful and heartfelt message. The humour is at an appropriate level for such a dark subject, however it didn’t venture into the black comedy genre, which did disappoint me. Most of the laughs came from John’s conscience, where Alexander really shone. Not only was he a talented musician, he had a huge amount of versatility and so much presence, that he always caught my eye when he was on stage.
The piece has some very genuine moments littered throughout, alongside well timed comedic sequences. Although some sections seemed vague and therefore disingenuous, fortunately these were few and far between. I loved the aesthetic of the piece, creatively and visually, however it felt a tad muddled at times. The paper-thin look of everything really fitted in with the subject matter. The hanging noose also lent a foreboding and dark tone to the piece. The music was excellent – Robert S J Lucas created a very peppy and upbeat soundtrack to provide juxtaposition to the heavy narrative, although, like the aesthetic, it occasionally felt a little confused.
Overall, I really enjoyed the piece – It tackled a marginalised but very real issue. It not only tried to raise awareness, but also encourages the audience to reach out for help when they need it. It’s not exactly a ‘light’ evening of entertainment, but it’s important and enjoyable nonetheless and I look forward to seeing what the company do next.
Reviewed by Charlotte Hurford
Photography courtesy of show
The Other Palace