Barnaby Stone, Why Am I Not Dead Yet? - 382 Near Misses

Review in Issue 12-3 | Autumn 2000

You can figure out all you need to know about this show from its title. Barnaby Stone raises a lot of questions about death, dying, and his own (surprising) survival, recounting all the close shaves he’s had on his thirty-odd year journey to date. This structurally simple premise enables him to dig out many an old anecdote about his family (from murderous nephew to granny’s ashes), his life from birth to BAC (most of which seems to have been spent on a bike), and his remarkable capacity to encounter death and just escape it.

There is much in this idea that could prove fruitful, and Stone’s natural charisma as a performer does just manage to keep one engaged. However, at the moment, as work-in-progress, this piece lacks any real depth, and its improvisational form, brave though it is, generally results in a lack of pace or dynamic. The fact that Stone raises a lot of questions, then offhandedly dismisses them, or that his tall toll of tales really only has one point to make, reveals a lack of conviction and clarity at the heart of this piece. At its lowest point this results in an uncomfortable sense that Stone doesn’t really know what he’s trying to say, and that we as an audience don’t really have to pay that much attention. Whilst I’m an avid supporter (and grateful beneficiary!) of BAC’s policy of supporting and programming developing work, this piece needs to go a long way before it figures out what it is that it is trying to be.

Topics
Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jul 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-3
p. 25