Styx by Max Barton & Addison Axe- Zoo Southside, Edinburgh

A band, led by a brother and a sister, tell stories of their grandparents and their loss of memory, filtered through the Orpheus myth. Max talks to his grandmother, in the early stage of Alzheimer’s, on the soundtrack, while the band perform his songs about Orpheus. She and his grandfather, now dead, ran a basement Swiss Cottage jazz club in the 1950s and Max searches for evidence of the place. Like Orpheus, whenever he turns to look it disappears.

Styx is original and surprisingly theatrical. Interviews with Max’s amusing and characterful grandma are signalled with a flashing light, like a seance. Band members play parts in the narration, and the songs are strong. Max and Addison are accomplished musicians, and the way they work together is both charming and, in their love for their grandparents and their history, properly moving.

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