Tron Theatre, Glasgow 3 stars Nothing can unite the body politic quite like music, even as listening to it or playing it remains an intensely personal experience. Such notions are the back-bone of Ankur Productions' charming look at pan-Indian identity through the eyes, words and, above all, songs of those who left their homeland for Glasgow, and the younger generation they sired. In what is part concert, part oral history, some fourteen community performers of all ages tell their stories, both on film and in the flesh. As they relate their tales of exile and arranged marriages on the one hand, and facing the Glasgow cold at the 'Barras on the other, the result of Shabina Aslam's Mayfesto production, which sees the cast perched on a network of white-painted boxes, is a crucial mash-up of traditional Indian mores fused with a brash contemporaneity. While the older women sport saris as they talk of a time before Bollywood had been named thus, the younger ones wear baseball caps, t-shirts and bling, complaining that the older garb is itchy. As a young girl relates the story of someone who came to Glasgow more than forty years ago, however, as she talks in first person, the importance of such hand-me-down experiences becomes clear. Ultimately, Jukebox is a modest but lovingly realised evocation of community, and of forming a new one whilst retaining links with the one that's been left behind. In this way, it stresses the importance of retaining a deep-rooted sense of identity, even as you integrate with another culture. The fact that such stories are not just being preserved, but are having fresh life breathed into them, makes for a fascinating and moving hour.
The Herald, May 7th 2013 ends