Scatter of Opinion

Lost Legacy

The Braille Legacy
Ranjit Bolt
@Charing Cross

Braille Legacy1

Expectations: 4/5
Reality Rating: 2/5
Fidget Factor: 0.6

A Legacy Lost

 The Braille Legacy, a tale of how Louie Braille created a way to read the alphabet for the blind and, well, actually that’s it. A part from a very small side story of a mad scientist using the children for experiments in order to ‘cure the blind’, a narrative which isn’t fully explored, exposed or brought to any conclusion. The Braille Legacy’s original Book and Lyrics were in French by Sébastien Lancrenon, Music by Jean-Baptiste Saudray. The version currently crumbling at Charing Cross is an English translation by Ranjit Bolt with Music Supervision and Orchestrations by Simon Lee. Lee’s music is pleasant on the ear but the lyrics are full of cliches and lacks substance, nearly as much as the Book. The phrase, ‘like the blind, leading the blind’ is even used at one point.

Braille-SRylander-PRESS-005Jack Wolfe performs Louie with emotion and sensitivity, doing the best he can without the support of a well written Book or inspiring lyrics. Wolfe’s interaction with the other character’s is truthful and we yearn for more of Louie’s story. Playing against Wolfe, Jason Broderick’s performance of Gabriel Gauthier feels overly forced and unnatural; making any scenes between the pair, false and laboured. Uncomfortable to watch, it’s Michael Remick’s performance of Captain Charles Barbier De La Serre which struggles most. Strained, abrupt and wooden, Remick’s acting and singing fail to entertain.

Braille-SRylander-PRESS-010The children are the best part of this production, and outshine the adult actors. A sweet set of vocals in harmony for each song. Their movements are very strict, but they don’t appear blind. The only indication of blindness throughout the production is through props and costume such as blind folds and leading rope.

Lastly, Tim Shortall’s wobbling set makes for a pretty aesthetic when moodily lit, but doesn’t add anything to performance. Repeatedly twisted and turned by the cast, the large structure becomes a distraction.

 Unfortunately, this production won’t be leaving a legacy for the future.

Click for Tix: @Charing Cross

Running:  10 APR 17 ►24 JUN 17

♥ Thank you to Kevin Wilson for the invite
♥ Thank you to Greg for his Braille Dice illustration

The Braille Legacy

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