ED2023 Reviews ED2023 Theatre Reviews

Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life (Quivering Dendrites)

By | Published on Tuesday 8 August 2023

I missed this show in 2022 and was keen to catch it early this year. Now an established international success, it’s a fine piece of American storytelling, avowedly autobiographical with a modestly expressed view on how to live life. Keith Alessi’s telling of his ‘crooked journey’ (summarised by the show’s name) is both inspiring and brave, and he shares what he’s learned unassumingly and without preachiness. I enjoyed discovering more about the banjo (including the jokes) and the Appalachian roots of authentic country music. There’s a lovely moment when, brought up in an intellectual tradition, he finally ‘feels the music’. Tomatoes only get a bit part but there’s some engaging banjo playing. A good pick.

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall, until 26 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Alan Cranston]