December 30, 2008
Pete Shenton's Mainly Live Events of the Year
Sparkling, fast, funny, imaginative, beautiful, cruel and hilarious. The funniest, most courageous storyteller on the planet. His story about the tooth fairy brought me to tears. Like a babbling speed freak who somehow manages to create sense and wonder out of the most circuitous of journies. His energy makes me want to be him. If you can get to see him you should do it without fail.
John Hegley, In Our Kennel.
The master of the audience. Moving between short, sharp and funny two line poems to dreamy tales about the ever growing world inside the kennel. Somewhere between tender hippy friend and slightly cross schoolmaster.
A collection of dances by different choreographers danced by two of the most talented people working in contemporary dance.
Anna Theresa De Keersmaker’s Rosas dancing to the music of Steve Reich.
The perfect marriage of minimalist masterpieces of music and Dance. Some chaff from the choreographer but its worth sitting through because also some absolute gems.
Incredible office party experiential performance. Members of the public join in and some of them strip naked. It's crazy shid. Excellent cabaret style performances from the likes of Ursula Martinez, who, if you haven’t seen you should (she’s also in La Clique in the West End at the moment). Funny and fun, and warm. Like a really good night out with loads of mates who you don’t actually know. Seems strange but it works.
Don Paterson – The Book of Shadows.
Not strictly from this year but I’ve been reading and rereading it all year. A magic book of aphorisms. Splendid bedtime philosophy.
Young, UK-based German choreographer/performer doing philosophical stuff about space and the imagination. With humour, imagination and, of course, space.
Nine Finger by Fumiyo Ikeda, Alain Platel, Benjamin Verdonck.
Belgian-based, politically-charged, emotionally powerful and intelligent dance theatre based on Uzodinma Iweala’s novel Beasts of No Nation. A show that kicks the narrative around in such a beautiful way that both keeps you following the action whilst at the same time feeling like you don’t know quite what’s going on. An amazing performance from Benjamin Verdonck.
Aussie stand-up who tells the most excruciating story about meeting Stephen Fry and using the word gay inappropriately. Definitely my funniest moment of the year.
Edmund Welles Quartet.
Bass Clarinet heavy metal jazz. It may sound shit on paper but in my ears at least it sounds awesome.
Pete Shenton (shouting on the left, with Tom Roden) is a dancer, choreographer and Co-Artistic Director of New Art Club.