Bob Dylan’s Girl from the North Country

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I’ve never heard of it

Girl from the North Country is another of those smaller shows that don’t get as much publicity. When there are shows left right and centre full of glamour and money, sometimes the smaller ones miss out on recognition. Girl from the North Country is showing at the minute at the Old Vic which is one of my all time favourite theatres. It is a not-for-profit theatre which I think makes it really cool.

What’s it all about?

Girl from the North Country is written by Conor McPherson who cleverly manages to combine a story of a family in America’s Great Depression with the music of Bob Dylan. The title of the show, whilst not too revealing of the actual story, is the name of one of Bob Dylan’s 1963 songs. The play is set in Minnesota, Dylan’s birthplace, during the 30s and follows the life of a family trying to keep their lives together in difficult times. There is an element of suspense as we wait to find out whether the family find their escape and there are moments of hard hitting reality too. The family own a guesthouse but are in more debt than they can get out of. With the wife suffering from dementia, the husband is free to do as he pleases with a widower guest.

I’ve read a few news articles in the past on Bob Dylan being very over protective of the use of his songs. It seems a little surprising (and exciting) that he was so open to the idea of theatre. Whilst featuring Dylan’s music, the play is not a musical. So don’t expect outbreaks of all singing all dancing numbers – that doesn’t seem to be what the writers wanted Girl from the North Country to be about.

Did you enjoy it?

I very much enjoyed this lovely play. I thought it was executed really well and the acting from everyone was superb. Some of the cast members had surprisingly wonderful singing voices and it was nice to know some of the songs already. I didn’t think the second half was quite as good as the first, but still good.

Who should go and see it?

I imagine the Bob Dylan fans will understandably be heading down to see this one. Fans aside though, I think a majority of people would enjoy this one. I went with my work friends and it was the perfect show for the occasion. I do wonder if Dylan himself has actually seen it? Maybe one of you will end up sat next to him in the theatre one day!

Where can I get tickets?

Girl from the North Country is currently showing at the Old Vic until the 7th of October. The nearest tube station is Waterloo and you can get your tickets HERE. Compared to some West End shows, you can grab very reasonably priced tickets. It’s definitely worth a watch!

Photos courtesy of love theatre