Skip to main content

Review of Feast Of Fools Storytelling #12 - Open Mic Night at the NN Cafe, Northampton

It was birthday time at the NN Cafe as Feast of Fools became a year old. A relatively small (guys come to open mics they are great), but enthusiastic crowd were present to see the eight performers on the evening.

Our host for the first half was Richard York who welcomed us to the evening with a none too offensive blast on his bagpipes before spiraling into a number of thanks for those who made the first year such a success. After this he gave a tale of a bag filled with torn up tales. It was all great fun to get the evening going. This was promptly followed by two lovely songs from Theresa Kelleher, the second of which was especially quite amazing.

For birthday night we had just the one new performer, however what a new performer. Lynette Hill gave us a quite magical tale of her gran's adventures with her ducks, Cuff and Link. Funny, uplifting and endlessly entertaining. It was quite a debut.

We needed a great star to follow that. We got Dave Blake. I have to say I frequently zone out of the the actual story Mr Blake is telling, as I usually end up in agony from the pun heavy antics. However on this occasion, I remained in the room this time for his always funny tale of Codrod's cap. A star performance once again

The interval then occurred, of which I only mention as I won a chocolate bunny in the raffle.

Our host for the second half was Sue Martin, who after the evening expectation of encouraging us all into a sing song of Happy Birthday, went into her own little tale. It was a rather happy and sad one of a boy born as a clown, trapped behind a white face, big red nose and a shock of ridiculous hair. It was however really entertaining.

Anne Marie Sando returned to the Feast Of Fools stage for just the second time. This time with a dramatically different tale from her previous fun and silly one. This one was a surprisingly erotic and strange tale with a very eerie edge. Pretty much all I can remember now is "rub me again, my love".

The ever reliable Stephen Hobbs was next up and once again one of his locally themed tales taking us through the presence of the devil in Northampton and culminating with a trip to St Peter and St Pauls graveyard. As ever a wonderful tale from Mr Hobbs.

As occurred for the very first Feast one year before, the energetic Red Phoenix closed the evening, with a tale of a unseen terror. During which a select few of the audience were picked on for their own suggestions of what the unseen looks like to them. Thankfully once my own thought had been stolen by another person, I was as ever thankful not to part of the show.

So another hugely entertaining open mic evening, full of laughter and interesting tales. And some bagpipes. We missed the two ladies that have been present at most of the previous shows in the last year, but the night was full of fun as ever. Roll on the next!

Performance reviewed: Wednesday 6th April, 2016 at the NN Cafe, Northampton.

Feast Of Fools is held on the first Wednesday of each month at the NN Cafe
Full details can be found at https://www.facebook.com/StorytellingFeast and Twitter @FOFStorytelling

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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 Hansel & Gretel by Warts & All at Delapré Abbey, Northampton

For those unfamiliar with Kneehigh Theatre (from where this show originally comes), the best way of explaining them is that they do traditional things, differently. This performance by Warts and All Theatre of their adaptation of the classic tale of Hansel & Gretel tells you much of what you need to know early on as a (human) rabbit is pinned down upon a table and skinned (half their costume removed). It is just one of an evening of wacky and quite brilliant moments as this production sours mostly for the sky of brilliance.

Handed to a cast of young performers, the result is often disturbingly professional. Sure it is still rough around the edges at times, but perhaps this helps the material. It doesn't actually matter if there is sparring from the cast with the audience, knowing looks and playfulness. It doesn't matter if one of the cast nearly knocks the cymbal of the musicians flying, perhaps it would have been even better if they had, this is anachic fun at its very b…