Monday, April 14, 2014

Kill Your Darlings III: Wasted

The third Kill Your Darlings was another truly entertaining night at the Cube Cinema. This time the usual residents Nikesh Shukla, Tom Clutterbuck and Molly Naylor were performing, with Byron Vincent compering, Joe Dunthorne headlining, and the introduction of brand new darling Chimene Suleyman.

Byron was in particularly good form as compere, and surprised us with a variety of special 'celebrity guests'. The first of these was Katie Hopkins (his friend Dave with a wig balanced on top of his head) who gave a profound and pithy response to the performance she'd just witnessed. (I forgot to take a photo of this, but it was reet good.)
Following this was Nikesh Shukla, who read for the first time from his forthcoming novel, Meatspace, which was funny, compelling and insightful, and is out July 3 (Why not pre-order a copy now?).

Nikesh Shukla reading from Meatspace

Tom Clutterbuck followed with a bit of new material from his upcoming show about his relationship with weed, and the stigma attached to it, particularly in the world of internet dating. He ended by sparking a conical spliff and left the stage in an over-sized wool hat to Bob Marley not worrying about a thing.

Tom Clutterbuck does a bit from his show

After a bit of comedy, Byron returned with more silliness. Again, in the shape of his friend Dave. This time Dave was wearing a sort of Count Duckula cape, and was - of course - Brian Sewell.

Brian Sewell

Molly Naylor was up next, telling a funny and poignant story in her usual natural and lovely way. This time the story was about friends and loneliness and how difficult life in Spain can be when your only friend is a dead fish.

Who wouldn't be this woman's friend?

After a break, Byron arrived for some more surreal compering. This time he was armed with a sentient (if only!) dog toy called Alan, an easter egg and some other weird things I've forgotten, all with the aim of bribing the audience into clapping. It worked, except for when he revealed that his fear of crowds meant he was incapable of seeing where the sound came from, and so was just chucking the prizes at random. Luckily for us, the Cube audience didn't take back their hand thunder.

Byron receives messages from Alan

Newest darling, Chimene Suleyman was next. She read a few poems beautifully, discouraging the impressed audience from clapping in between, and filling in the gaps between pieces with stories about the writing. Her charisma and humour between poems set off the pathos and beauty of her work.

Chimene Suleyman reads from her forthcoming collection

Finally, it was time for our headliner, Submarine and Wild Abandon author, and Faber poet, Joe Dunthorne. He read a few poems, and then the first part of his new novel, The Adulterers, which is set to be a marvellous follow up to his previous novels: funny, ironic and gripping.

So, if you couldn't make it this time, or haven't been before, then come down next month, and see what you make of the night. All work is new, which means there's the risk it can be rubbish, but equally that you might see something rather special.

This month the theme is Sex so it can't help but be interesting.

Tickets are £5 in advance or £6 on the door. Come along and see what you think. We'd love to meet you. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Byron Vincent on Forethought R4

If you were listening to the radio over the weekend, you may have heard the originator of Kill Your Darlings, Byron Vincent, on Radio 4's Four Thought.

Byron gave a brilliant talk in his usual informed and amusing way about growing up on a sink estate, being the product of one's environment, and how a society taking responsibility for its weakest members is simply a matter of common sense.

More sensible than he looks.

The speech is littered with stories about his childhood and adolescence, and well worth a listen if you missed it the first time, and have fifteen minutes to spare.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Episode one: Manifesto

So! The darlings did it! Kill Your Darlings successfully launched its first literary+ offering at the dreamy Cube Cinema in Stokes Croft, and what a lovely night it was (except for the weather, which was disgusting, but it didn't matter once you got inside, I promise). Inside was warm and boozy, and full of quite nice people plus seats and fairy lights and that.


First of all, the glorious Molly Naylor took to the stage, legs and arms a-wide inviting everyone to join her in a power stance. Which they did! Thanks, the audience. The culture of Englishness was palpable, but nobody could resist Naylor's joy-y powers (she has cajoled less willing people to play many more elaborate thespy games than this one) and thus we stood, fingers pointing to the edges of the ceiling, legs wide, with awkward expressions on our faces. (That's how I stood, at least.)

Power stance!

Next up was Tom Clutterbuck, who made everybody laugh when he pointed out the fact that he might be the best man to start a revolution on account of his 'high contrast face', which would look great on a monoprint t-shirt. He went on to entertain us by talking candidly about his failure to get to grips with politics, as well as telling us his manifesto for life.

High contrast face.

Nathan Filer and Byron Vincent then provided the evening with the kind of shambolic moments we promised on the flyer but hoped not to actually deliver when Byron's carefully put together video-y/projector stuff refused to work. For a moment, it looked like all would crumble, but the close friends managed to get through winningly, making the audience laugh with their impromptu goodnatured (we think) jibes at each other. Byron's ranty deconstruction of the impossibly optimistic manifesto of a pair of confusingly successful nitwits was complimented by Nathan's straight talking interludes.

Dream team.

Next up was Nikesh Shukla, who read a wonderful story about a horrible little book called Chapatis for Tea, written by a naughty Christian with an eye towards instructing other naughty Christians about how to secretly turn (in the religious sense) Hindus. Nikesh's analysis of the instructions threw up some of the hilarious misconceptions of the author about Hindu culture, as well as much passive-aggressive twaddle.


Now was time for a little break, which the sensible amongst us used to expel liquid in preparation for admitting more liquid, and then back we all went to the little black theatre to see what literary nonsense would happen next.

These people all did wees.

Molly made us do some more stuff enthusiastically or begrudgingly in accordance with our complex individual personalities, and then Tim Clare - who has recently sold his first novel! - took to the stage, and sort of freaked us out for a couple of minutes, in a strangely compelling, unnerving and brilliant way before launching into a song about the zodiac, and reeling off marvellously biting poems about being kind to yourself and not taking any crap from Portishead (his home town).

Singing face.

Finally, we had our big boy headliner, Gavin Osborn, who sang about falling in love while working at a supermarket check-out, not entirely sexy bath times with the wife and my favourite, a song modelled to fit those last few seconds of a non-award-winning not-even-definitely-good tv series. Heartwarming and melodic, his songs pulled lots of melty-sounding 'awww's from the many still-alive-inside audience members amongst us.


Thanks to everyone who came down and made it such a grand night, and to Dave and the staff at the Cube. And even more thanks to Ben Owen for the gorgeous photos. Check out his website if you want more.

For a less biased review, have a look at Speaker's Corner blog. Or if you don't trust no one, then just come along yourself, and make up your own mind.

Next month, we have the usual selection of new work from the residents - this time the theme is Sequel - plus the talented and hilarious Sara Pascoe.

Tickets are £5 in advance or £6 on the door. So please come along and see what you think. We'd love to meet you.