The atmosphere is smoky and the lights are dim and blue. There are musical instruments, including a trumpet, on a cheap-looking bed, and there's a little table supporting various items that can be injected, ingested or smoked. So it can only be about jazz.

David Goldthorpe 'is' Chet Baker, who died, via an Amsterdam window, in 1988. Supposedly 58, he looks no more than half that age, but we come to understand that that's how Baker perceived himself. Goldthorpe also has an exceptionally pleasant singing voice, and if the programme hadn't informed us that he learned to play the trumpet especially for the role of Chet, I would not have guessed.

Baker comes across as a not particularly sympathetic character: a negligent (several times) husband, father and son, given to self-pity rather than introspection, bravado, rather than bravery. But the story of his rise to fame and his descent into drug-fuelled paranoia, researched and written by Goldthorpe and put together with director David Lawrence, is interesting.


The narration is interspersed with jazz standards such as My Funny Valentine, Look for the Silver Lining and Everything Happens to Me. Goldthorpe's talent is complemented by Tim Solly on piano, Craig Sinclair on bass, and Paul McLennan-Kissel on drums and the fine music contrasts with the character's wildness.

The Fortune Studio was packed last night and the audience was particularly appreciative of the short, supernumerary jazz performances when the one-hour play as such was over.

Jazz fans and others have until Saturday to enjoy the production.


​Reviewed by Barbara Frame, OTAGO DAILY TIMES
Tuesday May 6th, 2008​


This is becoming a bit of a habit, us meeting like this. But if you are reading this you really want to try out Wix. Go on then. - Copyright Goldthorpe Creative 2011-15
This production is in
no way authorised or

approved by the Chet Baker Estate

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