Bye, bye UK City of Culture, this monologue is about the Hull that celebrations have forgotten.
Powerful revival of Jim Cartwright’s 1986 modern classic comes alive in all its noisy, vulgar and transcendent glory.
Unfortunately, it’s a pretty terrible piece of theatre. The primarily verbatim script is the worst of racist Brexit voters pontificating on political issues interspersed with extracts of speeches by the likes of Michael Gove, Boris, David Cameron and Nigel Farage.
You can be who you want to be, right? Rob, a driving instructor in modern day Romford, believes himself to be an 8th century Chinese poet from the Tang Dynasty.
Luke Wright’s jovial demeanour and impressive word hoard sit at odds with his smudged eyeliner and black leather jacket. The unassuming performance poet skulks to the mic, breathes, then unleashes a torrent of verbal acrobatics snapshotting British everymen and women.
The Wild Party, a simple and to-the-point title, perfectly describes the show as well as the evening I experienced. There was so much to like about this performance. Adapted into a performance piece here by Mingled Yarn Theatre Company, The Wild Party was originally a book-length narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March in the roaring twenties.
In the first part of Tony Harrison’s The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, Victorian archaeologist Grenfell struts and frets around a group of silent Egyptians sifting through scraps of papyrus.
Along with tickets, we are handed earplugs. Considering Christopher Brett Bailey’s first work This Is How We Die, I’m not surprised.
The Wildean young poet Rupert Brooke revels in the self-absorbed, upper classes of Edwardian Oxford and London at the turn of the twentieth century. He finds virtue in beauty, love, poetry and little else.
Three young women, three short solo performance pieces, three stories of vulnerability make bare., a thematically linked evening of new writing. Each of the three mini-plays has a distinct style and is performed by the writer. They vary in the quality of writing and inventiveness, and feel very new – more like scratch performances rather than finished pieces.
New play about a forgotten First World War poet stages both the passion of youth and the pity of war.
A young couple meet, the relationship blooms, then goes through a rough patch and eventually ends when they are much older. Was it meant to be? Are the events in our lives accidental or controlled by outside forces? Within a standard love story, Nude boldly states that fate has the final word over life, death and love.
Text of the day: I was thinking about Ross, Adele, and Bergsie.
Sometimes, simplicity in narrative structure is more effective than twists, heaps of characters and subplots. Storytelling has been a powerful medium for time immemorial. in/out (a feeling) starkly depicts young, Eastern European woman Blue working in a London brothel after promised a cleaning job. Her client Ollie is a coked-up, suburban lad out for his mate’s stag do, but their encounter changes both their lives, at least for a little while.
Near the end of his two-year imprisonment for gross indecency, Oscar Wilde was a man broken from hard labour, isolation and social disgrace. Until a sympathetic warden at Reading Gaol allowed him restricted writing privileges, he hadn’t been able to write at all. Provided with a single sheet of paper that would be collected and replaced when that one was filled, Wilde penned an 80-page letter of 50,000 words to the selfish lover who was his downfall, Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas. Heavily edited and published posthumously by Wilde’s friend and former lover Robbie Ross, the chatty letter was titled “De Profundis”. After Wilde’s release, he wrote poem “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” whilst exiled in Paris; this work details the execution of a fellow inmate.
A lot of firsts are happening in Balham theatre at the moment. Theatre N16 has moved from N16 to a new home in SW12, The Bedford Pub. There is little theatre in the immediate area – Tooting Arts Club is further down the Northern line, Clapham and Stockwell both have venues closer to town, BAC is a bit of a trek and there’s a new theatre tentatively in the works in Streatham, but that’s it.