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The Man Behind the Front

Feb 25, 2015

The Promethean lends itself to intimate, cabaret-style performances – to evenings where the audience feels fully involved and is alert to confessions and revelations, to humour and poignancy.  Indeed, as Lane Hinchcliffe describes it in this production: “A vignette, a collage of life’s ups and downs”.

Audience members know they are there to hear the story of Hinchcliffe’s development of a musical, based on the relatively recent discovery of human remains at the site of the Battle of Fromelles in 1916.  What is unexpected is the back story of Hinchcliffe’s life, which is told with delightful honesty by the man himself and a supporting actor taking the pivotal roles of his grandfather (the tales of whose experiences in World War II both inspired the young musician and provided a deep bond between the two men) and his feared music teacher at school.

The story is part narration and part song, ranging from music that has shaped Hinchcliffe (such as “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera) to his own compositions.  The most moving was one written in memory of a close friend and fellow composer who died aged 16 in a road accident.  She was to have collaborated him on The Front, but is now remembered always in the compelling “In Dreams I Come to You”.

Hinchcliffe became disillusioned with music in adolescence and studied instead to become a doctor.  Yet he recalled his grandfather advising him that his “curse” of an obsession with music could also be his greatest gift, and he has used this gift to create what promises to be a stunning musical production when it premieres at the Adelaide Festival Theatre in June this year.

His powerful and expressive voice, excellent piano style and the irresistible story make the evening’s entertainment all too short and not to be missed.

The Man Behind The Front will be performed at The Promethean again on February 26 and March 4.

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