ConFab Cabaret V
CONFAB Cabaret V at Malvern’s Re-con was another night of excellent quick-fire entertainment organised by performance poets Amy Rainbow and Catherine Crosswell.
More spoken word than previously but the mix of other forms (music, comedy, burlesque, circus) is set to build again in 2014.
Opening with Prepare to Share threw newcomer performers – and some more experienced – in at the deep end, which is the best way to learn to swim, my dad insisted (he used to throw me in and then dive in to rescue me. Not sure I’ve ever been comfortable in deep water since).
There was more Sharing in the second half – good on the keen wordsmiths of Malvern!
Matt ‘Just been told I’m too ‘pretty’ to be a boxer’ Man Windle’s poetry held everyone, thought-provoking, moving and funny – often all at once.
I don’t think I’d describe him as ‘pretty’ (wouldn’t dare!) but his words are gorgeous (and he is rather lovely, too).
ConFab was lucky nabbing international opera star, Montserrat Carbonara. She had declined a performance at the Royal Albert to come to Malvern but her orchestra and chorus had, unfortunately, gone to the Royal Albert (‘Hall’, she said, but I think there’s a pub called The Royal Albert in Newport). Wonderful arias and delightful insights into the Great Woman’s lifestyle.
Next came the audience poem, this time on the audience’s selected theme of ‘The Queen’ – as she’d been mentioned a few times earlier in proceedings.
Indeed, that very evening she was hosting a party to celebrate British Poetry.
Obviously we’d all been invited but, like Ms Carbonara (talking of Great Women) with the Royal Albert, we’d declined because ConFab is THE place to be.
Thirty-one – THIRTY-ONE! – slips of paper with poetry lines were returned.
There’s something magical about the way all the disparate scribbles make something so much more when Selotaped together, however, the finished poem was nearly as tall as me and fractured under its own weight when held-up to read.
Either I need to be less stingy with the sticky tape or, perhaps, it’s time to be more choosy with the lines included.
ConFab closed with slam champ Dan Duke, who is ranty and passionate and full of energy as his poems call out politicians and other stupidities of modern life.
His description of the MPs expenses (and other) scandals, inspired by Attila the Stockbroker’s visit to Malvern a few years ago, is sublime.
All in all a great night out and something a bit different for Malvern. With free entry, a host of talented performers, an opportunity to get up and have a go plus the ever popular Silliest Raffle, ConFab Cabaret really is an event not to be missed.
The next ConFab Cabaret is due to take place early in the New Year. Find them on Facebook to be kept up to date with future events, and come see the spectacle for yourself!