Jonathan Guy Lewis’s I Found My Horn is a story about a man who reignites his passion for music through the rediscovery of his French Horn. On this rollercoaster journey of comedy, drama and emotion, he also finds himself.
Studio 2 at Trafalgar Studios is an intimate space — it makes the telling of I Found My Horn even more personal. This is a one-man show, and its only fault is its slowness to get off the mark. With Lewis’s introduction of the character of Jasper, the play’s everyman hero, there is a slight feeling of going through the motions, with some over-the-top moments a bit too soon.
But as you get to know Jasper, you’ll realise that he is in fact a desperate man. He’s hit mid-life crisis point, surrounded by failure, with redemption in the form of successfully playing the French Horn his only way out. This is more than a man and his musical instrumental. It’s a matter of survival.
Any initial issues are quickly forgotten, fading away as soon as the other characters (all played by Lewis) start to come to life. Lewis’s ability for characterisation is faultless. He totally becomes a wide array of colourful characters, with only a micro-second’s pause in between.
His facial expressions, accents, stance and delivery of so many characters in such a short space of time makes for wonderful theatre, with some excellent comic flurries throughout. We especially loved his eccentric Music Teacher; Yorkshire Dave from the British Horn Society; the zany American ‘Horn Camp’ leader; and of course perhaps most magically of all, when the horn itself starts to talk…
You’ll be so captivated by Lewis’s approach that you may well forget that this is a one-man show. This is top-class storytelling, and a must see for anyone interested in seeing seemingly boundless versatility and stamina from an actor. We left with a new appreciation for the study that goes into playing a musical instrument, and the parallels that this brings to light for anything in life that’s worth practicing and fighting for.
By Danny Hilton