Dreams of Peace and Freedom is a tribute to David Maxwell Fyfe, who was one of the Nuremberg prosecutors and an important advocate of the European Convention of Human Rights. Put together by Tom Blackmore, Fyfe’s grandson, and performed in part by some of Fyfe’s great-grandchildren, this is a serene and respectful project, which avoids personal indulgence.
The piece takes the form of a series of readings from Fyfe’s personal papers, in which he reflects on his experiences as a politician and lawyer. The structure takes the audience from a consideration of his role in the Nuremberg Trials to an exploration of his beliefs in innate Natural Law, which motivated his work on the Human Rights Convention. These readings are interspersed with poems by Rupert Brooke and James Logie Robertson, set to music by Sue Casson.
The reading is done by the young Robert Blackmore, whose delivery is confident and appropriately statesmanlike, capitalising on his natural Churchillian drawl. The music is performed by Casson on the piano, with the singing of Lily Blackmore and Rebecca Morton. Blackmore and Morton’s performances aren’t extraordinary, but are tranquil and easy to listen to. Their voices blend together far better than with Casson’s own singing, which has less of a crystalline quality.
The musical arrangements are delicate and unfussy, and the whole piece is well suited to the space (a large church). Robert Blackmore speaks from the pulpit, which assures his voice can be well heard in such a cavernous space. The microphones that the singers use are, however, unnecessary given the church’s acoustic, and occasionally cause sound-balance issues.
Dreams of Peace and Freedom is amicable and engaging, and doesn’t outstay its welcome. This is an understated and dignified celebration of an internationally significant relative.
Dreams of Peace and Freedom is at C South (Venue 58) until 25 August. For more information and tickets, visit the EdFringe website.