FringeReview Scotland 2017
Tammy Millar takes us through her life and the loss of people close to her with songs they played together, sang to, listened to which made the time she had with them, and without them very special.
One girl and a guitar is all it takes to reduce me to an emotional dad. Haltingly, with some hiccups here and there this is an assured narrative of how her parents met, how they loved and how they left her dramatically through the course of her life.
Millar is an authentic storyteller which makes this haunting and moving. When we got the story of her DJ dad and her nursing mum meeting it was to herald a tragic story ending with the twin major killers in Scotland – cancer and alcoholism. It is not hard to predict that this would be the pathway though this is never clichéd. Millar avoids this skilfully by being cute enough to tell a tale worth hearing whilst being a narrator worth listening to – she falters and speaks with confidence in equal measure.
The text was interspersed with her singing songs that peppered her relationships with both. There were songs which were of joy and those of sadness and even one she could not stand. The impromptu joining in of the audience added to the genuine way in which we were drawn into the piece.
There was little by way of theatre arts though the intimacy of solo singing was aided by lights dimming and then coming back up afterwards.
A 45-minute piece in which we were given such a beautiful insight into the story of a family that began in love and ended in tragedy, was gone in too short a space of time. This was not, however, a misery memoir. The 24-year-old and engaging young woman onstage may be a credit to her genes but principally to herself. To be able, on her 2nd only ever gig, to perform in such a manner, that by the end, I was hoping that theatrical artifice would allow her to bring her parents out from behind the curtain was a triumph of communication.
This is a performer, and there are usually many, within the Royal Conservatoire’s Into the New Festival which saw Tammy try out new things and take us with her on her flight of fancy. As for her choice of music… her interest in metal and rock was very resonant for me, after all I saw Ozzy Osbourne the night before…