FOR THE RECORD – Pleasance – 4K

By Peter Maddern

There is, maybe, a resurgence in ‘the spoken word theatre’ – story telling and in particular poetry reading to volunteer audiences. It seems counter cultural given the attention spans devoted to topics by Millennials and indeed most generations nowadays. Nonetheless young Toby Thompson has sought to find his own fame in that niche and all luck to him for certainly he possesses a touch worth exploiting.

Toby’s topic is Love and his poems are delivered with his broad shoulders thrown back, arms gesticulating in a style that reminds me of Peter Garrett (of Midnight Oil fame), in a living room – his own space for seduction – he adorned in a pale blue t-shirt and jeans bookended vertically (if this is possible) with matching eyes and hooped snappy socks (sans shoes). While coffee is offered to his patrons and the air is occasionally graced with the beauty of song from his vinyl recordings of Peggy Lee and her like, the real intoxication is his good looks.

It all makes for a delightful escape from the bustle of a busy Ed fringe afternoon and if spoken word performance is the growth genre, then Toby Thompson may well be its new prophet.

My only concern, and perhaps this is beyond the purview of a performance review, is that Mr Thompson has not yet fully grasped, at least in his public persona, his potential power as a performer – the seduction of the middle aged is not targeting what our American friends may describe as ‘the sweet spot of his compensation curve.’

Kryztoff Rating   4K

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