Theatre review: The elevating music of Chadleigh Gower’s Standard Bank Gold Ovation Award 2021, Gone but not forgottenNational Arts Festival 2021

What: Chadleigh Gower’s Gone but not forgotten Genre: Music Duration: 60 mins Dates: Available until August 31, 2021   Language: English/Afrikaans Direct booking link: Duration: 60 minutes Tickets: R75    

Chadleigh Gower’s Gone but not forgotten is billed as “music” but I have tagged it as theatre. It more than music. It is more than a concert, presented by South African bassist Chadleigh Gowar. He has received a Standard Bank Gold Ovation Award 2021, Gone but not forgotten. The show is a tribute to people who have passed on, during these challenging days of lockdown. How do we cope and process the loss? They are gone but not forgotten. Gowar chats to artists about their losses and their approaches to dealing with grief and continuing. It is not only Covid. One person has coped with a murder. In tandem, with the chat, there is a stirring concert. It adds up to a show which is lament, tribute and ultimately a comfort piece – to lift us out of our sense of loss and displacement. Beautifully filmed, this theatre/music encounter is intimate and visceral. I love Gower’s non-judgmental approach. Wendy Julius says that God got her through and Gowar smiles and nods and says: “If you can’t pray – listen to music – listen to a song.” The take home message from this show- find you own way of coping – and music helps a lot.  Gower says: “I hope that you get some kind of comfort…” Even as we grieve, he invites us to “sing along, play along and enjoy the show…” It is a show about acknowledging grief and the fact that nothing will be the same but we have to share the pain and work through it. Music/singing helps us to transcend the grief and somehow find solace and hope. Watch this uplifting show.