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03 January 2014

Spoken Word Reviews

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Live music venue The Studio Bar isn’t a place you’d ordinarily associate with literary events, but last Monday saw the launch of a new contemporary spoken word night with punk poet Sue Johns headlining.

A lot quieter and less squeezy than last time I ventured there, with local writers in support it proved enjoyable indeed.

Organised by Jak Stringer, watch out for future Prick Up Your Ears nights. Entry is free and you can’t say fairer than that.

Newlyn Festival almost passed me by this year, but I did manage to duck into the gallery briefly to see the Newlyn at Work artists. Was great to chat to Lincoln Kirby Bell, a potter whose spotty dotty decorative pieces are both fun and functional, and to meet jeweller Mandy Maltwood – loved her copper girl standing in a scallop shell. I was also intrigued by Freddie Bates and his flying hands, which deftly darted in and out of the netting he was rigging.

A dying art, this netter has numerous nylons to his shuttle, has degrees and diplomas aplenty as well as studying Russian and writing a semi-autobiographical book.

It was Paul Feast week as well, but I wouldn’t miss Thursday’s Story Night for anything.

There’s something reassuring about the familiar line-up of performers, the Call My Chough game, and Mrs Puckey’s raffle. Not even John Harry’s absence blighted the evening thanks to several tributes and uncanny impersonations (Mike Sagar-Fenton’s poem about a granny’s new smartphone deserving a special mention). With funds raised split between Pendeen gig club and the Headland Unit at Treliske, well done as always to Anna Murphy for making it happen.

This student sinner was tempted to Newlyn again on Saturday, this time to see Tom Jackson Greaves and Polly Motley perform their co-choreographed dance theatre love story, Seven Deadly Sins. What can I say, other than ‘Wow!’ and ‘Wow!’ again.

It was exactly what it said on the tin, except the dancing was more than dance, it was pure kinetic joy in motion; as a piece of theatre it well and truly held its own thanks to their highly credible acting skills, and the quality set and costume design; the narrative was contemporary, relatable, funny, poignant, real; all seven sins were explored, played with and given the Greaves/Motley treatment; and I Loved It.

From slothful Eve’s slumberous start, to Adam’s wickedly sharply observed, corporate ladder-climbing character (pride goeth before a fall), their comical fight scene brandishing rolled up newspapers, greedy credit card shoe purchases, twee depictions of love’s first infatuation swiftly followed by the inevitable relationship cracks, and sordid nightclub envy, it was all executed to perfection. The visual sight gags for each sin were sheer genius, while the dancing itself was in turn sensuous, emotive, witty, athletic and engaging.

Gone are the days when dance was a silent, interpretative medium.

The dialogue was spot-on, while the T-shirt message exchange at the end spoke volumes. Gluttony was represented by a shared feast of apples, pies and cake, but judging by the standing ovation, we were all guilty of wanting more.

Just brilliant. Also brilliant, Grace Boulton’s regional final eventing results at Larkhill. She finished third overall to qualify at Grassroots Badminton next May.

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Bye Lover // Jeffrey Nuthin
  1. Bye Lover // Jeffrey Nuthin