I went to see “I Found My Horn” at the very intimate White Bear Theatre last night, situated at the back of the lovely White Bear pub in Kennington last night and it was a joy! Adapted from the best-selling book by Jasper Rees and Jonathan Guy Lewis and directed by Harry Burton, the play was first seen in 2008.
Jonathan Guy Lewis is extremely funny and captivating as he commands the small stage, giving it his all – the only actor in the play, but very successfully managing to take on the persona of a number of different people, all ages and genders – he even has a great voice for the Czechoslovakian Horn itself.
The story is about a man (Jasper Rees) who wakes up in midlife (at the age of 56) to a broken marriage and a son he doesn’t understand. The stage setting is his attic and we meet him as he is packing away his old life and moving his belongings to his tiny divorced flat. In amongst the boxes he discovers his old French Horn, gathering dust, just as he is and it speaks to him (literally).
And so emerges a plan to challenge himself to what appears to be an impossible task – to perform a Mozart concerto solo in a year’s time, in front of a paying audience of horn fanatics at the British Horn Society, playing an instrument he hasn’t picked up for 39 years. He’s looking for a new project and something to lift him out of his gloom and the thought of playing his horn again stirs something within him. He wants to do something to make his life memorable, to make some noise…his son Daniel thinks it’s all a dreadful idea….and he’s not the only one.
Jonathan’s impressions throughout the play are absolutely brilliant and cause the audience to laugh out loud. A lot. His wise old Horn advises that whilst he can’t change the past, he can heal the present and so off he goes on an adventure that takes him to a hilarious Horn Camp in America and gives Jonathan Guy Lewis yet more opportunities to show off his array of glorious accents.
He also turns out to be a pretty good musician. Just go and see it if you can. It’s a brilliant play and I loved every minute of it. It’s a shame it’s only 80 minutes without an interval – it was over too soon.
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