Daniel Kitson, C90

Review in Issue 19-3 | Autumn 2007

Having seen Daniel Kitson as a fantastically spontaneous compere in stand-up comedy, I was almost expecting more of the same. Savage but deeply meant put-downs of ignorant hecklers, etc. But this show is a much gentler thing – and that is one of its hugest achievements – a gentle and perceptive, slightly surreal comedy of un-manners.

The audience sits on a carpet on the set, bounded by shelves of abandoned cassette-tape compilations that the protagonist catalogues as they are delivered to him; compilations made for lovers and friends by others who were significant but aren’t now. Time has moved on, the need to keep and order these compilations has ceased, and the keeper is on his last day before he is forcibly retired. Add a graduate lollypop lady who adds people’s middle names to her salutation of them (because what could be more affirming then to lengthen names rather than shorten them?), and, by the by, makes compilations tapes for people, and you have a perfect formula for a romance that is signaled and suggested at the end of the show.

Kitson’s delivery is fast paced and word perfect, the gentle jokes and puns delivered in a well-maintained congruence with the characters, as he tells their stories from different parts of the installation. This is a show that puts the quirk into quirky, but keeps it meaningful and life enhancing.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. May 2007

This article in the magazine

Issue 19-3
p. 28