Online musical Hollow reunites writer/ composer David Kent and vocalist/ actor Dereck Walker. After their successful collaborations with previous works Uglies Do Edinburgh and Liberty Rides Forth!, this latest production was created during the UK’s lockdown period and is a contribution to the online programme for the Space UK.
Hollow brings us a poignant tale of lost love in the form of a musical monologue for voice, violin and guitar. After many years away, a weary traveller returns home to reflect on his life, and specifically what is missing from it. Although materially successful, he feels empty and disillusioned. In search of fulfilment, the traveller recounts the tale of a young boy, Jørgen, who meets a beautiful spirit in the forest.
The stunning soundtrack is undoubtedly the highlight. The original lyrics by Kent are beautifully delivered by Walker, whose ability to expressively convey the meaningful lines is admirable. Jeremy Williams plays violin and the recordings were produced, mixed and mastered by Pete Ware. Together they’ve created something so seemingly pure and effortless, which is even more admirable considering this was a completely remote collaboration with the four of them based in four different areas during lockdown.
The simple setting allows for all focus to be on the story and soundtrack; Walker delivers the entire monologue from a chair in what appears to be a wooden cabin. Some may be hoping for a little more ambitious filming and editing, but really there doesn’t feel much need for it. Actually, the simplicity creates a refreshingly calm atmosphere that’s much appreciated in the hectic reality of our present day to day lives.
The supernatural twist in Hollow creates an interesting cross between fantasy and reality; the magical tale reinforces the very real lesson to us all that material success isn’t everything. If supernatural fantasy isn’t your thing, it’s worth a watch if only for the beautiful soundtrack. For musical lovers, it could easily be one of those soundtracks you want to listen to again and again after you’ve seen the show.