25th January, 2017
JUSTIN COE'S ADULT GIG AT JANUARY WRITE ANGLE
Write Angle in January was Justin Coe's only adult audience in a long time but, as Dr Seuss said “Adults are just outdated children." Although much of his material is geared to children, it had the audience participating, laughing and reacting throughout.
Justin is a poet, a comedian, an actor, a consommate performer, He is mobile, never still. His face is mobile, as if made of rubber, taking on the varied emotions of his work.
In Sergeant Major Dad, he was the stern, shouting disciplinarian, ordering the audience to repeat each line after him: “This is a house, not a hotel”. In contrast, in Mum Dad, he dealt with a single parent: “I could not have asked for a better dad than mum!” Far Away Dad was poignant: “He thinks of you with every breath; it isn't you that he has left”. Justin wrote it when he was away for work but it could equally strike a chord with anyone separated from their family.
It was not all children and dads. There's also a political dimension to Justin. His nursery rhyme, Old Numpty Trump: “All the world's women and all the world''s men knocked down the wall and built bridges instead.” Then, Theresa May's “Had a magic money tree, nothing would it bear, but a banker's bonus. Nothing left to share.” Finishing it with a commentary on her deal with the DUP: “...She danced across the water with the fruit of the magic money tree”. Just About Managing, in the rhythm of Dr Seuss, “I would not vote for her or him; they put me in the jam.”
We were treated to a preview of his fantastic new show, aimed at four to five year olds, Young Herbert's Horrors, telling how a naughty child is tamed, which had an adult audience lost in continuous laughter.
Coincidentally, Dick Senior led off the at the open mic with Walking to School, on how he and his schoolmates ran the gauntlet of boys from the Catholic school, with “knuckles like chipped bricks” as “we get an education walking to school”. He followed with three poems that gave a poetic voice to anything other than human. Richard Hawtree read Independence in post-colonial Ireland and Thirty-five Measures For Blind Bishop Fox 1448-1528, who created “seven flights of seven steps with seven paces between each flight so that you could ascend and descend like angels on Jacob's ladder...” Then, A Poem, listing all the marvellous things he wanted a poem to achieve.
Damian O'Vitch's humourous Nutrition said “Don't tell me you're going to put that in your mouth!” and “More than half of all sausage rolls voted for Brexit in protest against the liberal conspiracy”. In Outside the Takeaway, he told of the people - “vegetable life-forms” (!) - he met there. The Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area describes “being stared at by a baby in a supermarket”. Damian, from Hammer & Tongue, performed professionally reciting a number of poems which held the audience's attention beginning to end.
SpeechPainter, one of our all-time favourite professional performers, provided, at breakneck speed, Everything in the 60s – a truly comprehensive list of every event, personality and product in that decade - a three minute tour de force. He said It took six hours for him to learn this complicated poem – He's simply amazing!
Colin Eveleigh's clothes talk to him in My Clothes. Then My Face - “This is my face. Like it or not, this is the one I've got”. An interesting poem...Leah Cohen's Instinct described her cats, well fed yet driven to kill, asking: “Why is the urge still there …. It's in the looking glass”.It's Time We Met was followed by My Memory Foam Pillow - “Will my brain fill up with memory or with foam?” In My Polish Grandma, your reviewer told of that fierce woman's arrival in England, her romance with a Frenchman and his leaving her and their two chilren, yet “she never said a word against him...for ever the love of her life.”
Bruce Parry read from his new book, Silver Charms and Other Stories, the poem Lilibet by Diana Ashman about “a jolly little girl” who became our Queen, following with his poems, Gone Home about a run-down seaside town and then Time In Memorial: “Love was skin deep, that was all we needed.” He rounded his contribution off on the hammer dulcimer, with Bear Dance and Swallowtail Gig. And, the luck of the draw was his as he won the raffle for a lunch for two at the delightful Lemon Grass Thai restaurant.
Jilly Funnell's poem, Air Kissing in the United K had us hysterical laughing at her predicament: “What if I turn the right cheek, which is the wrong cheek....? She then sang her break-up song, Darling, Don't Save The Last Dance For Me. Jezz and his guitar rounded the evening of poetry and music off with strong and emotional renderings of Fake Plastic Trees and Copperhead Row. It was a good evening with many 'thanks' received as the audience left.