The Lion @ Southwark playhouse


Photo credit : Pamela Raith

The Lion is an autobiographical musical which feels more like an intimate folk gig, come comedy night. The set – a wooden thrust stage, which made you feel part of the action, and dispersed dangling bulbs, which could be mistaken for candle light – excellently fitted the mood of the piece.

Max Alexander-Taylor performs the true story of Ben Scheuer in this one person show. Max begins by hanging out with the audience, before sitting down on the edge of the stage with his accoustic guitar to play.

The piece is musically and emotionally intelligent; despite much of the content of the play being weighty, it moves through stories of love, grief, and illness with a unique lightness. A series of guitars represent the stages of Scheur’s life, and Max performs with an energy that keeps the story feeling exciting and warm. His vocal range enables him to inhabit each stage of the story, and his playing ability is impressive, not to mention his obvious likeability.

The Lion is witty, funny, heartwarming and heartbreaking all in one, and a great watch for anyone looking for something different.