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BWW Review: METRONOME is Music to the Ears


BWW Review: METRONOME is Music to the Ears

Darrin Hagen first harnessed his musical talent as a young boy in a rural Alberta community. Whether progressing through accordion lessons at lightning speed or delighting his family with his piano playing, he knew that music was not only an outlet for creative expression but a lifelong relationship to be nurtured. In his one-man show, Metronome, he recalls his journey as a musician from childhood to the present day, captivating the audience with his insightful anecdotes and dry Canadian humour.

From the moment he first appears on stage, Hagen recalls the past with thoughtful precision. Among his most compelling descriptions are the fond memories of his grandmother proudly recording his piano playing on cassette tapes to bonding with Shannon, a high school friend who shared his love of music. He humorously recalls the anxiety and anticipation of taking his Royal Conservatory piano exam and to later playing Chariots of Fire during a bride's entrance at a wedding, each story a testament to overcoming obstacles and embracing his creativity. Later, his journey takes hairpin turns as the trials of adulthood challenge his musical endeavours and he finds comfort and acceptance among other like-minded queer artists. It is easy to forget that you are watching a performance rather than participating in a conversation. Under Heather Inglis' direction, Hagen's performance plays out against Beyata Hackborn's backdrop of suspended elements such as rustic wooden boards, a bench, and even a harp. Adam Turnbull's lighting is atmospheric while Jason Kodie's sound design includes snippets of well-known rock songs and even a segment of Hagen's cassette-recorded piano playing. The overall effect is uniquely whimsical, perfectly complementing Hagen's storytelling.

Metronome is presented by Workshop West Playwrights' Theatre and plays at the ATB Financial Arts Barns until November 21. Proof of vaccination and masking are mandatory for all audience members.

Photo Credit: Ian Jackson (Epic Photography)

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