4 ½ stars
When he steps on stage, Wil Greenway’s eyes gleam with the enthusiasm of sharing a story bubbling away behind them. His beard almost succeeds in hiding an elfin grin as he sets the scene for the story that he is about to share with his audience.
Anyone familiar with Greenway’s work will know that he’s a fantastic storyteller. He tells amazing, wonderful, and slightly weird stories with the grace and charisma of a travelling bard. His shows are funny, beautiful and touching and he delivers each of these elements with ease.
In The Way The City Ate The Stars, Greenway adds some new feathers to his cap. He’s joined on stage by a vocalist and guitarist, and we were honestly concerned that this would detract from his engaging performance style. Those concerns were unfounded as, even with the stage fully lit, Greenway’s ability to enthrall an audience ensured that all eyes were on him.
Greenway’s storytelling style has also evolved, and this show demonstrates far more of his spoken word talents. He’s always been a captivating storyteller but the lyrical qualities of his delivery are far more evident in this show. It is storytelling, yes, but ably supplemented and enhanced by prose poetry and an economic range of physical acting.
This story is a little more grounded than his other shows. While embellished with a few fantasy elements, it’s eminently believable and far more enthralling as a result. It’s a pretty simple tale, with converging narratives that paint a glorious word-picture rich with suffering, loneliness and connection.
Greenway delivers a master stroke of poignant storytelling that leaves the audience feeling moved and enlightened.