REVIEW: LOTS OF LAUGHTER & MUSIC AT FEBRUARY WRITE ANGLE WITH ROB BARRATT & OPEN MIC
February Write Angle had Rob Barratt, one of the funniest performers yet. His audience was with him from the moment he began. He invited them to join him in many of his poems and songs. Extremely clever, he presented a varied selection –non-stop, starting with Why 'I Don't Want to Swim With Dolphins'. '...they might give me dolphin fever. They probably don't want to swim with me either. Dolphins smell of fish. Swimming with them is my death wish…'
Stewart Taylor, open miker and pro, called him 'atrociously good'. His unique style of twisting words left one not knowing what comes next except it's bound to get laughter! Rob produced news items about the 'have and have nots'. 'The Queen, 90, has a cold and will miss ... ; Samia Chomley, 94, has a cold and'...down the list to: 'The Queen will be flown to Sandringham in a private helicoptor, Ms Chomley by private nuclear submarine, then by Red Arrow, (got laughs) alien spaceship…'
'Dedicated to the suffering of teachers, 'The God of Data', a lesson from The Book on Dataonomy', in biblical form – 'They know not what they mean..and I shall create a new world of education and it shall be created in five days like what there are in a week...it ended with 'amen and awomen'! 'Distressed', brought his furniture to life. 'His painted window frame's been stripped...the cupboard hates the plates that have no mates. The rocking chair will never sleep because the magazine rack has big issues...the shelves themselves lack shelf respect...the dressing table's dressed to kill...the blind's kept in the dark..the curtains are hanging. They need to pull themselves together…'
As part of an Australian gig, as Lady Guinevere seeking a man, he pointed at the audience, calling out, 'I need a lad', 'I need a man..a young man. At least, that's the plan...I need a Knight'…. Again, much laughter. A poem about The Turner Gallery without a single Turner painting, got the response, 'It's a concept, darling...this is modern art.' So Rob created his own show which turned him into 'the next conman'! He ranted about 'Scottish Weather, 17 in Aberdeen. Then, with 2-4% Neanderthal in us, there should be a Neanderthal Independence Party (NIP) as they feel threatened by Homo-Sapiens. 'We must club together and not cave in..'
His 'Missing Letter' poem about the various supermarkets losing their first letter as well as any items and all personnel, was absolute magic! eg. (Coop) Oop sold icken breasts, ucumbers, and heckouts...aitrose sold eetabix. Ainsbury, ausages, trawberry jams, nickers..We were pleased to have Rob as a guest and we hope he'll come back. Meantime, contact him and buy his CD or books.
Meantime, our Open Mic started with Jake's clever 'We know where you go to, our Donald', a poem/song (based on Peter Sarstedt's Where do you go to, my lovely) of Trump's presidential days; living in his tasteless tower built by immigrants...selling goods not from the US….Mexican bans - backed by the Bible belt and rednecks..but at night you tweet your thoughts, don't you, Donald'. Colin Eveleigh's poem, 'Mice in a Bottle' of an evil man emptying bottles with two mice, into a pool. 'I didn't save them. Was I man or mouse?' Then, 'The Mug Tree' about a workman's mug caught up in a tree for many years, growing with the tree, becoming stronger, happier as it sees the sun and sky, 'I wonder if just before the bough breaks, there might be a cracked porcelain moment of perfect silence, perfect peace....' . Good imagery!
Leah did a short play using 6 members of the audience. It turned out great fun and a good ice-breaker for the evening. Jilly Funnell played, 'El Paso', creating some haunting guitar music. Then, 'Hypnotherapy Blues', a poem about a break-up and seeing a therapist. The 'witch', when told about him, said 'nothing was your fault'. However, after two visits, it turned out she fancied him!(beware). Then, 'He was the Top', about 'her Michaelangelo'. ... hot and sunny, her shiny bargain mall, he was inscrutable...people who say 'it happens', just didn't know him. 'Stage Door Jilly' followed, cleverly done with all 'illys' and ending with 'It's the actors I adore', followed by a lilting melody, 'Yellow Bird'.
Stewart Taylor's 'Ikea', spoke of the crowds, pointless purchasing - not him! Short-cut to the cafeteria. 'The pre-teen staff guiding customers'...where? Not Stewart! 'I know where the toilets are' Then, 'Joined Up', about enlisting in 1915. 'Daddy, what did you do in the Great War'. Now everything's at peace. Smooth finished walls. A turn in history. He never signed up. The girl repeats the question all through the poem. She waits. He turns away. Very moving poem! A strong poet!
Richard Lancaster played a big bongo drum. 'it looks African, it's from Los Angeles. Not wood, but plastic. Bowl at the top. Long stem at the bottom. Beautiful instrument. Lots of tonal range, and Richard demonstrated. The desire to get up and dance was instant. Beautiful sound and beautifully played. A great instrument and an enthusiastic drummer!
Richard Hawtree did 'Independence' an experience he had in Cork, 'just the two of us, drinking in a neglected garden, cracked terrace - where the gardener had been off since Independence day'. Then 'April Leaps', a lilting poem where Spring will happen anyway and linger where the wind gets strongest, in the April air. All in all, a very eclectic and enjoyable evening – one of the best. Lots of laughs and warmth throughout!
One of the regulars won two free meals at 'Half Moon Pub', Sheet.
One of our very close friends came into an unexpected inheritance and decided to send us £100 as a donation to Write Angle! We are shocked, grateful and thank you wth all our hearts, Helen!
Next month, we're looking forward to Greg Harper, great guitarist and singer. Peace and environmental issues plus whatever new issues are at hand! Do come and join us.
Note: Philip Young announced the Petersfield Music Festival starting in March with Edward Thomas, remembered in a special concert. Please check your website for more information