EDitorial ± 10-Jun-2019

Pulse Festival 2019

Love the culture, me. The tunes, the films, the pictures. Less so, the theatre. Much less so. Prob'ly why I've mostly shied away from Ipswich's very own Pulse, the "actively curated festival" that's been run by the New Wolsey for a few years. Ten days of small shows with big ideas. My line, that one.

This year, though, flicking through the brochure, I spotted a couple of things I fancied. Hadn't occurred to me before that Pulse is more or less a mini Edinburgh Fringe but 400 miles closer. Then went to book 'em online and found myself with an offer I couldn't refuse. Tenner each, or five for a fiver each. They had me.

(Mon 3 Jun @ 6:30pm) Lights! Planet! People! at New Wolsey Theatre
Co-writer with John Osborne of Sky One's delightful After Hours, Molly Naylor gives us a female cosmologist -- "I'm a scientist" -- flitting between a lecture, a therapy session and unanswered mobile calls. Karen Hill, terrific, keeps asking the audience for questions. I nearly put my hand up. Exoplanets and existentialism.
— line: "Leaflets and that."

(Tue 4 Jun @ 8pm) My Kind Of Michael at New Wolsey Studio
Promising start guessing the masterfully picked-out Bontempi TV theme tunes: that was Big Break? Nick Cassenbaum's love letter to persona non grata Michael Barrymore with us in the crowd acting as Strike It Lucky contestants. Should MB accept that free JD & Sprite? Much pathos. It's the celebri-tree!
— line: "It was my destiny to be that prat."

(Wed 5 Jun @ 8pm) A Hundred Different Words For Love at New Wolsey Studio
Previous show running late caused a delay enabling us in the audience to hear the full warm-up playlist culminating in a mass singalong of Erasure's A Little Respect. That was joyous, as was James Rowland's story. Show punctuated by looped keyboard riffs over which JR, the offspring of Tim Key and Bill Bailey, shouted his lines. Good old Giles. Nailed that landing with the final song, too.
— line: "Viennetta? You should have said."

(Fri 7 Jun @ 8pm) You're In A Bad Way at High Street Exhibition Gallery
Co-writer with Molly Naylor of Sky One's delightful After Hours, John Osborne is one of the few performers that I've seen previously at Pulse. That was 2016's Hefner-based The Fidelity Wars. Me and G. had already seen a JO double bill (John Peel's Shed and Circled In The Radio Times) at Diss back in February. The shambolic lad can do no wrong and tells a tale stretching from his final Glastonbury to a Lincolnshire care home. Bring on St Etienne, The Musical.
— line: "I was already wearing tomorrow's socks."

(Sat 8 Jun @ noon) This Is All For You at High Street Exhibition Gallery
Bonus performance by People You May Know. According to The Guardian's Guide, "Joss Oliver and Fred Double's preview of their latest play." Bum directions meant I was ten minutes late but I still caught 45 minutes of Jimmy's wordy would-be angry young man with FD on drums. Plenty of Facebook fishwife food for thought in a lunchtime show. The boys did good.
— line: "Boil an egg?"

(Sat 8 Jun @ 8:45pm) Kieran Hodgson '75 at New Wolsey Studio
Pre-show chat with fellow attendee about the pre-show '70s visuals of Heath, Thatcher, Powell and Jenkins. Then touch-of-Tennant Kieran appeared to whip us through a brief history of Europe in relation to the GB. Slick, skilled and spot-on impersonations of long-gone politicos. How did he synchronise that Bach air piano playing? Impressive.
— line: "Your fish quotas didn't bother me anyway."

...and still missed Max and Ivan, Byron Vincent and 1927.