Reviewer rating

In 1994, one of the world’s grunge icons, Kurt Cobain, shot himself in Aberdeen, Washington, his hometown. He was 27, thereby joining an unofficial ‘27 club’ when many mainly popular musicians died at age 27, including Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse.

The Soho Theatre is a perfect venue for this type of show.

Multi-award-winning Cassie Workman time travels to Washington and Aberdeen, where Cobain lived, in an attempt to save her idol from killing himself. It is admirable for a solo performer to take on an audience for an hour, and keep them engaged and especially brave with the audience in the round, as in Soho. The sets are basic, assisted by interesting light changes and accompanied by metallic sounding rain.

Her poetry is moving, atmospheric, desolate, bleak and sometimes funny. ‘When the voice of his generation kills himself, it kind of ends the conversation’. The poetry is compelling listening, and she delivers it almost musically. She starts – ‘This is going to sound crazy, But just give me fifty-five minutes to explain, I am standing in ankle deep water, In Aberdeen, Holding hands with Kurt Cobain’.

Cassie draws in her audience, often speaking directly to them. Whether or not we know who Kurt Cobain was, we are hooked, and we shall find out. Her poetry, as well as being tragic, is also witty – ‘Aberdeen, the lumber capital of the world, without a single tree’.

As she waits wide-eyed in the darkness, for Cobain, she says ‘This is going to sound crazy but I swear that in the rain, I could see the ghost of Kurt Cobain’. She keeps the interest and action flowing. We meet Courtenay Love, Cobain’s wife, who is still alive today, as is their daughter. She was absent in a rehab clinic at his death.

Try as she might, Cassie’s time travelling cannot save Cobain from his fate – ‘I suspect that we shall never again see, a darkness quite as luminous as he’.

Cassie’s tour-de-force sad homage to her hero, is a mesmerising, must-see for those interested in the era and cult surrounding it.