“Slotting in somewhere between Stomp! and The Lion King, Drumstruck delivers on practically every level” 4.5 Stars – Edinburgh 24/7
Being a percussionist who owns his own ‘djembe’, to say I was excited about seeing a show which features traditional African drums, including one for EVERY member of the audience, would be the very definition of understatement.
Slotting in somewhere between Stomp! and The Lion King, Drum Struck delivers on practically every level. In the beginning, we meet the Drum Maker and the Drum Queen and are quickly introduced to the concept of ‘Ubuntu’ – essentially, good energy which binds everything together.
Before long however, a deeper issue surfaces – greed! Using the incredibly talented cast as ‘rival gangs’, the show addresses how the discovery of gold in South Africa tore families and communities apart. This is beautifully and subtly suggested even through the drums themselves – with one gang playing traditional African drums and the other using modern ‘Pearl’ kits.
There are frequent audience participation sections which are both great fun and serve to connect the audience to the subject matter much more closely.
My one and only criticism would be with the singer, who joins the cast in a rather telegraphed ‘bit’. Her words are often garbled and her entire demeanor seems peculiarly ‘cabaret’ for such a traditional feeling show. The acapella harmonies from the rest of the cast are absolutely stunning but seem a little let down by the somewhat self-aggrandising lead singer.
Ultimately however, this one criticism fades into insignificance in the grand scheme of such a gloriously enjoyable show. A simple glance around the faces of the audience, both young and old, at any point will tell you everything you need to know – Drum Struck is a resounding HIT!