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 A Passage to India at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Creating the world of E. M. Forster's A Passage to India for the stage and into a little over two hours running time offers many challenges, not least creating the visual world of India. However, this co-production between Royal & Derngate and simple8 throw away any need for complex sets, and bring the world of India, including some of its wildlife to life via boxes and bamboo canes. The success of this is really quite amazing as perhaps the crowning moment of the elephant brings home the most. Simple8 is an award-winning ensemble group and the way they work together to get their characters travelling through the world of India explains why they have received the awards.

A Passage to India is a 1924 novel telling of Britain's generally unpleasant rule in India and takes as its story an encounter between the elderly Mrs Moore (Liz Crowther), Adela (Phoebe Pryce), who is keen to see the real India, and Dr Aziz (Asif Khan). While their meetings seem pleasant, to begin with, e…

Review of The Flint Street Nativity, performed by University Of Northampton BA Actors at Maidwell Hall (Avenue Campus), Northampton

The Flint Street Nativity was presented by the BA Actors as part of a double bill with The Night Before Christmas, and you could hardly imagine such a difference in style. Tim Firth's genuinely, quite endearing play was quite the opposite to the rough and vicious Christmas spirit of the previous show.

Flint Street offers the intriguing situation of adult performers acting as children as they present to their audience (and always watched by the unseen, but a creepy red lighted teacher, Mrs Horrocks), their production of the nativity. It forms quite a delight of totally recognisable characters from your school days if you are able to remember that far back.

Among my favourite performances from this are Gemma Fensham as the total brat Gabriel, never seeming to have an expression other than sucking a lemon, as she breezily switches her best friend back and forth with abandon. She rather stylishly perfected the sulking strutting off routine as well, fabulous! Playing up to his size with…

Review of The Jungle Book at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

The Jungle Book is an age-old classic, made far more famous by Walt Disney than any other original writer going by the name of Rudyard Kipling. Mention the title to many people and they are more likely to say "oobee doo I wanna be like you" than say "oh, yes, the book by Kipling". Therefore to present this classic tale for the stage and dispense with all reference or hint to that ingrained music and create new music of your own is dangerous. However, that is before you witness the brilliant new work of Joe Stilgoe, with lyrics by adaptor Jessica Swale, and you realise very quickly you are in very safe hands. These are catchy, foot-tapping tunes of the killer variety.

However, Jessica Swale's adaptation is far from a procession of nifty tunes, this is a bold, clever and still very relevant production for 2017 of the now 123-year-old novel. Perhaps strong enough to live without those tunes if needed, this is no musical adaptation. Sweeping clever snatches of humo…