Over the last few weeks the BBC World Service World Drama slot has featured their "Heroes Season". EarStory Review heard three of these. The first was about British men who went to fight the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. The second had to do with a courageous priest who faced death in the 1980's land reform movement. There is little doubt of the heroic content of these two plays and the appropriateness in their presentation in something called "Heroes Season".
But last Saturday they presented The Concert by Ulises Rodriguez Febles. I very silly play about a very silly man with a very silly hero. The hero is a rock star, a performer. It wouldn't have caused quite so much offence had it not been presented in the same series as the other two.
What we have here is an aging rocker "man" who steals the recently installed statue of John Lennon from the Havana bench on which it sits. He takes the thing home, all by himself "man" in some sort of feat of superhuman strength for the 50 year old codger, and puts it in his basement which he has decked out as a replica of the original Cavern Club where the Beatles famously preformed. He speaks to the statue and sets about trying to reunite his 1960 rock band The Crusaders because they had once promised one another "man" that they would get together and play for The Beatles should they ever happen to visit Cuba.
He "Johnny" doesn't have much luck with his former bandmates. Some of them are not interested, one has had a stroke so can't speak for himself, and Johnny goes around through the play saying "man" in most every sentence. When he does get around to singing to John the statue he songs him a Paul McCartney song.
This is a not a very good play about a uninteresting boring silly old man. If you're some sort of Beatles fan with the misguided notion that they are the best thing that happen in 20th Century music and simply must see and hear everything about them, feel free to give The Concert a listen. All others can skip it "man".
"A working class hero is something to be."