Bob Dylan provides the songs to this soulful musical from Conor McPherson
I don’t think it would be unfair to say that my relationship with Bob Dylan’s music is all a bit cloak and dagger. A musician whose work is probably more recognisable to me through (the numerous) covers of his songs than perhaps the original recordings. You might feel the same? Take Adele’s cover of Make You Feel My Love – I actually didn’t know that was a cover of Dylan! Did you?
So, with a distorted connection to Bob Dylan’s work, when Girl From The North Country arrived at Milton Keynes Theatre, a musical written by Conor McPherson but using the music of Dylan, I really didn’t quite know what to expect.
Set in Duluth, Minnesota, which was actually Dylan’s birthplace, that is where the similarities probably end. This ain’t no biopic.
It’s 1934, during the Great Depression and through a veil of mist we join two new guests as they come to stay in the Laine family guesthouse. Here we learn the lives of the family and the guests that are staying there.
The intwining lives of the family and guests cover so many topics including dementia, racial divides and the Great Depression fallouts.
The Girl From The North Country does this all gently and with rich emotion, the songs used in the show (from the 600 odd songs on offer in the Dylan repertoire) feel like they were made for this story.
This is not only down to Dylan’s songs but to the beautiful way they are played live on stage by the cast. Sometimes on a piano, a bass or a small but very effective drum kit. The right notes are hit through the cast who deliver spine tingling performances.
I knew I had one Wishlist for Girl From The North Country and that was that it included All Along The Watchtower and I’m pleased to say it was in it!! Brilliantly moody and everything I could have wanted.
But for the musical in general, something I didn’t know I had wished for came true also. An emotional, touching night at the theatre, with beautiful singing and music. This is one I’m going to want to revisit again.
Girl From The North Country is at Milton Keynes Theatre Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 November 2022
Tickets were kindly gifted by Milton Keynes Theatre but they have zero control over what I post, or say about the performance – that’s all me! Thank you for your support. 🖤