Robert White is an autistic, openly gay, musical wizard who delivers an opera that is drama turned to eleven. With a show entitled InstruMENTAL you’re correct to expect nothing less than wild operatics and utter musical abandon for an hour. I mean, it’s just drama, drama, DRAMA! – like watching an episode of RuPaul Drag Race but without the drag and only one contestant arguing with himself. You’re transported to a different world, like a Rick & Morty adventure in which most of the pop culture references are maybe twenty years old. It’s visual and aural chaos for sixty minutes.
Remember music class at school where one kid would always find the crap Casio keyboard chock-full of animal noises and stupid sound effects? Well imagine that White is that kid and somehow he managed to weave a story about his life around pressing every button on that keyboard and singing over it. And if you’re a fan of wordplay then boy, does White have you covered – many of the big laughs come from the twist of the rhyme. We touch on some dark areas of course – abuse, awful relationships, prison – but the tone bounces all over the place. Near the end White calls out the fact that different people like different things and certainly I could imagine some people absolutely hating this show, finding it a kind of schizophrenic Frank Sidebottom-on-acid hellscape.
So yes, of course I loved it.
Robert Whites’s InstruMENTAL runs at the Gilded Balloon Teviot until 27th August, 15:15.