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.)
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.
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).
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.