People have tried, mostly unsuccessfully I should add, to bring Nobel laureate Bob Dylan’s music to the stage a great many times over the years. Conor McPherson (no that’s not the guy who got beaten up by Floyd Mayweather) has written and directs this new work, with the approval of the Dylan camp, and brought to The Old Vic.
Girl from the North Country isn’t a musical in any conventional sense – maybe that’s why it works so beautifully. Set in a depression era Duluth, Minnesota (Dylan’s home town) our action surrounds a seen-better-days boarding house with a repressed bunch of inhabitants – all carrying their own burdens and secrets.
There are so many Dylan songs to choose from and McPherson has chosen beautifully, with a hypnotic mix of lesser-known tracks and crowd pleasers but imparting each with a fresh and exciting new sound and orchestration.
The Old Vic has just announced the release of a cast recording CD and it’s not difficult to understand why, the play works nice and solidly, but the music is astounding and worth every single accolade that is flying its way.
A very worthy 5/5.