Guy Dartnell, Would Say Something

Review in Issue 10-4 | Winter 1998

Guy Dartnell – the man and the performer – distances himself from his audience before the show even starts, with his continuous running commentary on his own actions. He does Brecht proud. Would Say Something, as the title suggests, is one man’s foray into the realm of communication. One man, ‘trying to get something across’, with the aid of assorted musical instruments – keyboards, sax, flute and guitar.

In Would Say Something, Guy Dartnell and the excellent actor/musician Toby Park create a series of vocal text-scapes. These range from an ingenious play on the words ‘man’ and ‘woman’ (which both reveals and lays open to question a whole range of perceptions about the nature of male/female relationships); a speech delivered from behind a lectern about lying: a hilarious parody of every rock ‘n’ roll love song ever written; through to a list of every country in the world.

It sounds dull perhaps, but Dartnell and Park are experimenting with a fascinating range of aural expression. The strength of the show lies in this technical experimentation with language and sound, reminiscent of Laurie Anderson, Samuel Beckett and even Artaud. The most arresting parts, however, are when Dartnell is at his most humble, this is when the magic comes. If he can resist the temptation of the ‘gag’, and really render himself vulnerable before an audience, this show could develop into something beautiful and brilliant.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-4
p. 21