Good theatre, even theatre that reaches those heady heights of greatness, is all down to the art of storytelling. It is unlike many other mediums in that you as the captive audience are completely at the mercy of the performers. The story, the delivery and the theatrics used to tell a tale are all armoury in the arsenal of the storyteller. Get it wrong and you’ve lost the audience. Get it right and you will have people regaling your tale to the world.
After a while you can become tired of watching the same old, same old. You get to a certain age having watched a plethora of performances and you are just in the comfort zone. You know what makes things tick, and what does not. Sometimes, though, you stumble upon something that just lifts you from deep within the rabbit’s fur and stimulates your senses. Minute Taker’s set at this year’s Refract:18 festival did exactly that.
One of the highlights from this year’s Refract:18 festival is the set by Minute Taker. Alternative singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist – aka Ben McGarvey – is one of those artists that often people rave about and critics pine for. He’s released two critically acclaimed albums and has composed several soundtracks for stage. Caught In The Act managed to grab some time with him and wax lyrical about stage names, independent artists doing it for themselves and our mutual love of all things Kate Bush.
Now in its second year, the Refract:18 festival kicks off this week with ten days of experiential performance, music and events, all aiming to challenge visitors to see things differently. Caught In The Act managed to wrangle an interview with Darren Adams, one of the men behind Refract, and we talked about pushing the boundaries, attracting new audiences and newts taking over the human race!
This is fast becoming a summer where we look back and remember the hot weather and the smokey smell from the Moor fire, when England mesmerized a nation in the World Cup and how Maxine Peake became the face of Royal Exchange. Fresh from rave reviews in her turn as Winnie in Happy Days she has returned this time in the guise of writer to tell us the true story of four women and one last act of protest in Queens of the Coal Age.
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