Suicide Notes … The Spoken Word of Christopher Brett Bailey – 3.5 Stars

Suicide

Suicide Notes … The Spoken Word of Christopher Brett Bailey

Shoreditch Town Hall

Reviewed – 4th May 2018

★★★½

“There is definitely a wonderful show that will come from these previews”

 


Christopher Brett Bailey’s This is How We Die took the fringe by storm when it emerged. The seemingly simple form, seeing Bailey sat by a desk with a microphone and the script swerved through dark and surreal storytelling and erupted into a climactic wall of music and light. These series of previews of his new material at Shoreditch Town Hall, comprised of different every night showings of brand new short stories, see him return to this set up with fascinating results.

Once again, we find Bailey familiarly sat behind his desk with a stack of papers around him, each waiting to be delicately picked up and shown to their audience. Compared to his previous work, this show and tell was much more relaxed and warm in nature, with audience asides and often breaks of laughter during particularly difficult extracts. On the night we were taken from an enticing and detailed encounter with Adam, the first man and the world, and quickly breezed through to a gloriously apocalyptic goodbye from humans entirely.

Bailey has a natural voice for his writing, engaging and warm yet able to twist and shift at a moment’s notice. He performs tremendous feats of diction and lyrical dexterity, and his writing creates vivid, very changing imagery for us to envisage. He creates hilarious moments from the world he creates, and a set up for a previous girlfriend referring to her downstairs as her ‘axe wound’ created a meeting that it was difficult to stop giggling at for all its sheer weirdness. For a work in progress understandably however there were moments at which punchlines of some stories fell slightly flat and at times lacked some of the razor-sharp appeal that has come to define him.

There is definitely a wonderful show that will come from these previews, and the potential there was obvious to see. At this point it is difficult to review this show due to the open nature of its performance, and acknowledgement that it will develop on from here. It is not quite the final product that it is crying out to become, as it fails to fully feel like a single show, more like a mixed confetti bag of bits. But Bailey’s superb writing ability fires on, and as the lights fall down we are left to consider how we look at suicide, and his gift for finding the beauty and humour in death is something that sticks in the mind and into the night.

Reviewed by Callum McCartney

Photography by Jemima Yong

 

 

Suicide Notes … The Spoken Word of Christopher Brett Bailey

Shoreditch Town Hall

 

 

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