I know what your thinking! A musical about Van Gogh sounds so implausible, but the team working on the concept album titled ’starry’ have managed to do this in a way that makes perfect sense! As an aside, the cover art of the album on Spotify was clearly thought out. it is a representation of Van Goghs iconic ’starry nights’ painting which is not only beautiful to look at but also iconic enough for people to see this and associate it with the painted which gives you an idea of what the whole show is about!
This musical follows the lives of Van Gogh but also shines a light on his lesser-known brother Theo who was an art dealer at the time. Generally speaking, this musical does what it needed to do as I am now aware of Theo and the connection him and his brother had whereas before I didn’t even know Van Gogh had any siblings! The team that developed this musical clearly studies Van Gogh’s work and was aware of the types of people who are fans of his work. Firstly, all of the song titles in this work are a reference to many of his iconic work with someone even being titles of his work such as ’the yellow house.’ This allows the show to stick to the theme and nature of the show the creative team had developed very easily. On top of this, all of the songs in this album are focussed on the art of singing rather than massive over the top performances. The songs are all slow and reflective numbers that showcase the performer’s talents rather. With many new musicals, I have listened to you can imagine the wonderful staging of complex choreography or magnificent special effect but Starry doesn’t do this which at first I thought was a bad thing but instead, it’s a show that sticks to the theme and decides to put the performance at the centre of the show. This musical, in my opinion, reflects the work of Van Gogh perfectly which really gives off an arty and almost hipster-Esque vibe which obviously attract those who follow Van Gogh’s work. Due to all this, I can see an influx of performers wanting to perform some of these songs in local open mic nights and at concerts as it helps to show off their vocal abilities with limited performance aspects needed.
‘A new horizon’ is a highlight in this show for me as it is crammed full with hope and optimism that really fitted the idea of the show. The two performers in this song posed wonderful vocals that blended together to create a gorgeous and moving song that I will remember for a long, long time! The song titled ‘United in distress’ opened with an unusual rap style moment that really contrasted the rest of the song in this album yet still fitted with the artsy feel of the show. This song is an excellent ensemble number that utilised multiple voices and discussed key themes such as dealing with critique and art-specific techniques which yet was perfect for a show about Van Gogh and his life. Something I had never seen on a concept album that appeared in this album was a flawless transition from one song to another. If I hadn’t been paying attention to the sliding bar on my Spotify I would never have known where ‘red vineyard’ ended and then starry night’ started. This was truly unique and cleverly crafted!
Overall this is an album that sticks closely to its own nature rigidly which truest showcases the talent of their performers. It’s a unique show which I am sure will see a rush of interest in the coming months. I would rate this show 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend Starry to any fans of art and musicals and wonder how these two worlds can be combined! I would also suggest people follow the musical on social media (which can be found on their website https://starrymusical.com/)