Skip to main content

My review of Feast Of Fools Storytelling #1 at the NN Cafe, Northampton

Let me tell you the story of the day that this
won me nothing. I am more likely to get trampled by a herd of wilderbeest down Northampton's Abington Street while I am dressed as Elvis Presley and having a chat with Lord Lucan than to win a raffle. There was even a booby prize last night and I didn't even get a chance to (more than likely) pick that.

However I digress, this evening was not about my troubles about winning a raffle. This was the very first, inaugural, premiere, debut, opening and actually something that hadn't happened before, it was the Feast Of Fools Storytelling evening. It was also at a venue I had never been before, the NN Cafe.

The idea of Feast Of Fools is to establish a regular (monthly) evening of storytelling from both established and open mic newbies. On this first night, we had four established tellers (although I understand one was only their second performance, so I lie) to start off the event. We had our host Richard York with occasional musical accompaniment, Sue Martin, and then two professional tellers, Jo Blake Cave and Red Phoenix.

Three of these I had recently seen at the Open Mic Storytelling at Royal & Derngate, while Red Phoenix was the new one in the mix. The mix of stories was once again generally traditional, but always riveting fair and the tellers were all excellent. While only my second time seeing her, I have to say that Jo Blake Cave was the star of the evening with her telling of Abu Kasim's Slippers. A slightly familiar tale to me, although I am not sure where from. However the telling was just superb, Jo really is an incredible storyteller.

I have a little trouble reviewing storytelling and it can be difficult to sell it to people I suppose. People either think its for children or just a bit book at bedtime. However of the three shows I have seen now, it is no different from any theatre piece in its captivating interest. It is very much a thing that you have to experience to fully understand, and now the Feast Of Fools is here in Northampton on a monthly basis, you have no reason not to have that experience. Don't judge, just go.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of The Blue Road by R&D Young Company at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

I have a 100% strike record with the wonderful Youth Theatre group at Royal & Derngate, they have never let me down with a show and sometimes with those of Sweeney Todd and Kontact, have provided me with some of the very optimum theatre points of each year. The Blue Road, their very latest production for me is slightly less successful.

However, it thankfully and perhaps not surprisingly, is nothing to do with the constantly talented bunch of actors that gather in this group. My problem lies in two places, of play selection and the way it is told. The Blue Road chronicles the story of a group of young people on the backend of a not totally described crisis, and this, unfortunately, is where we were more or less just two years ago with the Young Company and their show Immune. I have always been interested in these post apocalyptic stories and often love them, however for the same group to do two so close together feels a shame. They challenge certainly, but I am sure there are many…

Review of Once Upon A Grimm Tale by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company (Early) at Judge's Lodgings, Northampton

Once upon a time, there was a brave theatrical reviewer. He lived in a market town in deepest darkest Englaland, where many great and remarkable things of stage did occur. At the centre of this wondrous world of performing spectacles was a place referred to by many as the Royal Derngatus, a place of people pretending to be other people and telling tales of mystery, intrigue and frolics.

Within the fortressed walls of Royal Derngatus, there were a group of fearless players who entertained local folk for no reward, other than the thrill of seeing the joy in the faces of others. Those group of artists went by the name of Actors Companus, which many pronounced carefully when they did say it out loud. This group of merry men and women did have two forms, an early and a late, and but two days before this adventurous evening of forthcoming storytelling, the late group did perform for a third and final time a most amazing feat of theatre, going by the name of Great Expectations.


Our hero of thi…

Review of Great Expectations by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Market Boy from The Actors Company last year was a remarkable show and is likely to stay with me for a long time, so following it with this year's production was always going to be a tough call and with their production of the epic Dickens classic Great Expectations, they at least didn't lack ambition.

I have to be honest, things for me didn't start well. The first few minutes of this adaptation by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod is a busy and convoluted sequence moving the opening part of the story in an unclear and often irritating way. For those present not aware of the original story, I wouldn't envy them trying to keep up with what is going on. However much of the trouble of this opening sequence is quickly corrected as scenes become more defined and controlled and the story is allowed to develop at a slower pace.

Perhaps also in the early part, it doesn't help either that the gender-swapped Magwitch played by Salli Bersham is a little too full on with the o…