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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Brighton 2012 arrow Fashion Tips for the Last Days
Fashion Tips for the Last Days
Published on Tuesday, 15 May 2012

4 stars

The Blind Tiger Club (venue website)
9 May, 8:00pm-11:00pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Suitable for age 18+ only.
 World Premiere.
 2-for-1 tickets for Friends of the Fringe members.

This poetry showcase was built around the launch of a new booklet by Chris Parkinson, also called Fashion Tips for the Last Days.  The event mainly centred on Parkinson giving readings of his poems – so many in fact, he must have read out the entire book – joined in each of the show’s three sections by another poetry guest.

The poets all varied, as did their selection of offerings, making for a bumpy evening. The highs were often deliriously high, but some of the lows were crushing.  So it’s difficult to assess the sum of this show’s parts. A curate’s egg, indeed.

I did thoroughly enjoy Parkinson’s gleeful delivery of a whirlingly-imaginative story of the destruction of Brighton – full of nods to local icons, some straight off the postcards and some deliciously idiosyncratic.  Another superb idea was the spine of the poem that neatly illustrated of how more right-wing politicians should rehabilitate themselves using the medium of dance, a la Ann Widdecombe in Strictly.

Guest stars that peppered the evening were less successful, lacking the personality and charm of Parkinson, and sometimes resorting to performance poetry’s trademark trick of shouting a little too often.  I have to say, though, that Angry Sam’s touching tale of a lost train ticket really worked, with the audience hanging on his every word as he created a suspenseful tale from a mundane subject.

So – a sometimes baffling, sometimes transcendental evening, with surreal highs and a few frustrating lows.  But the highlights are what stayed with me.  I’ll never forget the image of Parkinson enacting his doomed romance with a swan, accompanied by the mournful wailing of a musical saw.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.