Writer/Director: Conrad Murray
Reviewer: Harriet Mallion
Conrad Murray explores memories of nicking stereos, ‘Nicks’ trainers and unfortunate nicknames in this unusual autobiographical account of growing up on a London council estate. Part performer, poet and musician Murray delivers a deeply personal performance using a modest setup and plethora of musical ability.
As the audience take their seats Murray picks out a gentle guitar melody that offers a casual glimpse of his musical talents. Throughout the performance, he reimagines the art of storytelling by combining music, rapping, beatboxing and a loop-station with a poignant selection of Shakespearean asides.
While Murray readily admits that “we never had no books in my house” he pauses for a moment recounting the gifted copy of Hamlet which sparked an interest in performance and drama and signified investment in his future. The story of the Prince of Denmark certainly had a profound affect, Murray has developed an affinity for oral storytelling and offers up a performance that is both cathartic and uplifting. At times the transition between chapters feels hesitant and some of the sound and lighting cues are delayed but these are minor issues and Murray’s performance never falters.
DenMarked explores opportunities, choices and stories, most importantly the memories from childhood that mould and shape the decisions we make in our futures. Murray admits that he eagerly allowed his future and his choices to be shaped by the chance discovery of his musical talent when he was younger.
Unfortunately for a performance that relies so heavily on music, technology on the night holds back the quality of the sound production. During the live loop station recordings, the tracks bleed into each other and muffle the sound from the mic affecting the delivery of Murray’s lyrics.
Reviewed on 2 February 2017 | Image: Contributed