Charlie Fink’s new album, stripped-back, gossamer-delicate and very personal, provides the music for a new, minimalist two-hander (really a monologue) about the high life, the low life, and suicide.
The former Noah and the Whale singer sits on a chair with his guitar and two microphones. He is not a born actor, but offers lines into the microphone with natural honesty. His character is a singer-songwriter who’s just quit the band; noticeably similar to Fink. He is also bisexual and basically suicidal, noticeably different.
Jade Anouka tells us the story of how her character met this emotionally elusive musician and even gigged with him, until he disappears one day and she tries to retrace his steps; or cover his tracks. Her character’s journey is long and savage, and with nothing on stage except smoke and a few spotlights, Anouka commands the stage as an expert story-teller, switching between wildly energised and miserably hollow as the story unfolds.
Musically, Fink’s softly swooping and breathy baritone leads the way, as well as his gentle but expert acoustic guitar finger-picking. The songs are well-crafted both musically and lyrically, though at times blend into one another. Gorgeous orchestrations for small orchestral ensemble are played through the PA system, as well as some percussion; a shame this can’t be live. Though Anouka’s monologue defines the work, audiences can expect musical beauty and a fascinating play with form, resulting in an enchanting and moving hour of music-theatre.