Thursday, 10 June 2010

Daniel Kitson: 66A Church Road

Tonight we're going to see the marvellous Daniel Kitson perform his theatrical monologue 66A Church Road: A Lament, Made of Memories and Kept in Suitcases. So, I thought I'd take the opportunity to repost the (brief) review I wrote when I first saw the show, at Edinburgh in 2008. 

(Since then I've also posted on the two shows he did at Edinburgh last year: The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church (another 'story show') and We Are Gathered Here (stand-up))

66A Church Road is at the end of a brief tour (at the New Players' Theatre in London until Sunday), but you can join Daniel Kitson's mailing list here.


The final show of the night was Daniel Kitson in 66A Church Road. I didn’t know much about it in advance except that it was a meditation on a flat in which he lived for a number of years, and that his shows are more like theatrical monologues than stand-up routines. As he began to speak, it became apparent that he Church Road he was talking about was in Crystal Palace – a regular haunt just up the road from Murphy Grange. Even stranger, one of the people we’d gone to the show with has inhabited the same road for years, but had no idea Daniel Kitson lived in the area. 

Maybe it helped that we knew the places he was talking about, but the show was mesmerising – thought-provoking, funny, profound and moving. Kitson’s slightly shambling and socially awkward persona (plus his characterisation of his soulless landlord) draw you in and make you laugh, while his observations on memory and the significance of ‘home’ make you want to go back and look at your own domestic situation from a brand new perspective. His relationship with the flat - which he loved despite, or because of, all its faults - also provided a surprisingly apt metaphor for all our personal relationships.

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