Theatre review: I Found My Horn

Posted on: 20 November 2009 by Mark O'haire

Laurence Green reviews Jonathan Guy Lewis and Jasper Rees’s solo play I Found My Horn at the Hampstead Theatre.

A man wakes up at fifty to a broken marriage, a beckoning bedsit, and the realisation that he has done nothing to make himself memorable.

This is the situation facing the protagonist at the beginning of Jonathan Guy Lewis and Jasper Rees’s solo play I Found My Horn (Hampstead Theatre), adapted from the book by Jasper Rees and directed by Harry Burton.

After a lay-off of 25 years, arts journalist and author Jasper Rees seeks redemption via the 16 feet of treacherous brass tubing in the shape of a French horn, he set himself an impossible task: to perform Mozart’s third horn concerto in E flat, K447, in front of a paying audience of horn fanatics.

“Don’t do it”, says his mentor. “It takes nerves of steel to play the French horn in public!” But for Jasper, there’s no choice. It’s now or never.

This touching, 75-minute one-man show with Jonathan Guy Lewis playing Jasper Rees, a man suffering a mid-life crisis and seeking refuge in mastery of the French horn, is very good in part, strained at times, but overall witty and delightful, and, with snatches of Sibelius, managed to celebrate the joyous, uplifting power of music.

An entertaining evening in the theatre, then, with a particular appeal to both music lovers and musicians.

By Laurence Green

Where: Hampstead Theatre

When: plays until 28 November

Box Office: 020 7722 9301

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