Frankie Fox and Ricardo Rocha present an impressive, varied and absorbing cabaret-style performance, exploring Welsh cultural identity, delighting in sound and its power to transport an audience. The whole show has a somewhat impenetrable quality akin to listening in on a language you don’t understand, and not only because it’s partially in Welsh.
Fox doesn’t connect or elucidate upon individual narrative elements; throughout, she volubly emits words and sounds alike. But the joy comes from listening, not from sense-making, and because of the universality of song and voice, the scenes portrayed are nevertheless recognisable.
Most of the songs are in Welsh, many are original, some traditional and some contemporary. Fox inhabits a range of characters, from historical and folk figures to a diva and dragon. The show features some lovely bespoke objects, including the ritual-inspired Eisteddfod chair from which an inset instrument is detached.
Playing a variety of instruments, Rocha also employs a loop station, multiplying and layering the sounds, ensuring the performance more-than-adequately fills the space. With the added stature of a platform and some vertiginous golden shoes, Fox delivers the powerful, evocative finale in monumental fashion. Audience enjoyment was palpable from the whoops and cheers which met the performance.
Words: Hilary White
Lady GoGo Goch, Summerhall, Aug 1 – 24 (4, 11, 18), 21:05