Friday 3 December 2021

Ghost Quartet, (online), 3 December 2021 ***



What: Ghost Quartet (online version), Music, Lyrics & Text by David Molloy

Produced by Antipodes Theatre

View online:, filmed at Meat Market Stables

Reviewer: Kate Herbert


 This review published only on this blog. KH

L-R Willow Sizer, Hany Lee, Devid Butler-006-Jack Dixon-Gunn

Ghost Quartet by David Molloy, is a ghostly song cycle constructed around a mash-up of familiar and unfamiliar stories including Arabian Nights and Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher and drawing on a range of eclectic musical styles.


In this chamber musical directed by Brandon Pape, stories meander and characters merge, which is initially confounding, but eventually the bold tapestry of tall tales become clearer. Characters are reincorporated and live in multiple narrative worlds. For example, two women called Rose and Pearl are sisters, lovers, friends or mother and daughter.


A woman breaks her camera, someone falls from a subway platform, parents worry about their child who obsesses over a ghost, an astronomer wants to sing, four friends drink whiskey, a dancer laments. Characters merge, tell stories, then split apart only to appear again in another reality.


The cycle is arranged in four sections, like four sides of a double album, each song begin announced as “Side One, Track 1”, and so on, a device that breaks up the momentum and flow at times.


Four singer/musicians play all roles and instruments: David Butler (piano), Hany Lee (percussion, zither, piano), Patrick Shnur (cello, guitar), Willow Sizer (drums, guitar, ukulele).


The end of Side 3 is compelling and successful when three songs – Bad Men, The House of Usher-Part 3, and Prayer – ebb and flow with changing styles and rhythms like a musical theatre piece, incorporating dialogue, narrative and characters effectively into the songs.


The final song, The Wind and Rain, is a beautifully evocative and genuinely moving and melancholy lament in the style of an English or Irish folk tune. It is the tale of two sisters, a lover, jealousy and death and a fiddle that is strung with the dead girl’s long brown hair. I’m still singing it!


Ghost Quartet is an appealing and diverse production performed by a versatile cast. It is a good sign that it even works when watched online!


By Kate Herbert



David Butler

Hany Lee

Patrick Shnur

Willow Sizer


Creative Team

Directed and Designed by BRANDON PAPE

Musical Director DAVID BUTLER

Costume Designer JODI HOPE

Lighting Designer KIT CUNNEEN

Sound Designer EVAN DRILL


Assistant Stage Manager HOLLY ANDERSON

Graphic Designer JULIAN LEON


Social Media Management by CHLOE TOWAN and AUBREY FLOOD



Song List


Side One

1. I Don’t Know

2. The Camera Shop

3. Starchild

4. Subway

5. Usher, Part 1

6. Soldier & Rose

7. Any Kind of Dead Person


Side Two

1. The Astronomer 

2. Family Meeting 

3. Four Friends

4. Fathers & Sons 

5. Usher, Part 2

6. The Telescope 

7. Tango Dancer 

8. Monk


Side Three

1. Lights Out

2. The Photograph 

3. Bad Men

4. Usher, Part 3

5. Prayer


Side Four

1. Hero

2. Midnight

3. The Wind & Rain

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