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Woody Sez

There’s nothing fussy about this small scale tribute to thrice married American folk singer-songwriter Woodie Guthrie.

On an almost bare stage, the four engagingly versatile performers cover thirty of his songs (and play a variety of musical instruments including guitar, banjo, Jews harp, spoons and double bass) whilst cramming in the biographical details of a life overshadowed by the hereditary neurological disease which plagued his mother.

Born in Oklahoma in 1912, he travelled to California during the Depression, aiming his songs at the common people whose suffering he witnessed first-hand. From the foot-tappingly upbeat, to moving ballads and the satirical (and still topical) “Jolly Banker”, this unpretentious show captures the essence of the man who influenced Dylan - and in an unpretentious style of which Guthrie himself would have approved.

Arts Theatre, Great Newport Street, WC2H 7JB (020 7907 7092)
artstheatrewestend.com
Tuibe: Leicester Square
Until 2nd April
£20-£39.50

- Louise Kingsley


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