Music often has a profound connection and association with memories, often capturing the essence of moments more powerfully than words ever can. In ‘The Problem with Faye Treacy’ Treacy makes frequent use of this fact, adding an extra layer of emotional depth to her stories with a backdrop of live-looped trombone covers. This peculiar set-up never feels forced but rather a necessity for Faye to do herself and her stories justice.
Throughout the show Treacy weaves tales of dysfunction and embarrassment with a hopeful melancholy that’s equal part funny and touching, taking the audience through, what felt like, a fairly accurate depiction of her entire life. While the music perfectly parallels this with the flawed but expressive sound of the trombone, Treacy’s stories could have easily made for a far above average show off their own merit.
The almost giddy positivity Treacy maintains seemed to immediately infect the audience as well, the show starting off with a loud (and seemingly sober) singalong to ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’. This almost silly intimacy between audience and performer was maintained throughout the entire show, being summarised in a conclusion that is simultaneously childish, genius and inescapably memorable.
While this show is likely one of the most unique performances you’ll see in the Fringe this year, it is also one of the most joyfully unchallenging and accessible. This likely comes from the fact that Treacy is seemingly making no attempt to normalise or cover her personality up and, as a result of this, makes the show far less awkward and far less alien than it has any right to be.
★★★★ (and a half)