Soho theatre, London
Will Adamsdale shapeshifts to play a crooner, a troubadour and a country singer in an ambitious mockumentary show
‘Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician,” Kurt Vonnegut once said, and comedy isn’t short of examples, from Ricky Gervais playing as David Brent with Foregone Conclusion to Jack Black’s Tenacious D and the Mighty Boosh’s heavy Camden shtick.
For something more subtle, try The Lost Disc, in which mild-mannered Perrier award winner Will Adamsdale shapeshifts into Roger LeFevre (a folk troubadour), Tony Noel (a jazz crooner who sings Christmas songs year-round) and AP Williams (a country singer). In The Lost Disc, fictional former 6 Music DJ Stu Morecambe is on the hunt for an apocryphal bootleg of a performance by LeFevre, Noel and Williams at Glastonbury 1985.
The Lost Disc is essentially two shows in one, then – something which ultimately undermines its various delights. The bulk of it is devoted to the three musicians, with Adamsdale superb as he twists himself with minimal exertion into effectively mimicking Dylan and Donovan, then Tony Bennett and finally Johnny Cash. With each performer, we are sent down a backstory rabbit hole, partly for the sake of pure adventure but also to shore up the over-engineered narrative. The original songs – written by Adamsdale, Ed Gaughan and Chris Branch and performed on stage alongside the London Snorkelling Team – are mightily impressive and bring some warmth to this tall tale. And as well as Adamsdale’s discreet style of star quality, the supporting cast is excellent, notably the versatile Gaughan.
The Lost Disc is at Soho theatre, London, until 27 October.