THIS IS HOW WE DIE, review by Helen Devonshire

Posted on Sunday 11 October

Photo by Rich Kenworthy

Photo by Rich Kenworthy

This surrealist storytelling involves an actor at a desk reading from a pile of pages, but nothing more is needed. It’s all about the words.

Written and performed by Canadian, London-based theatre maker Christopher Brett Bailey, the monologue ‘This is how we die’ is a high-speed, dark and gruesome rant with moments of calm and offbeat humour. CBB’s use of language provides, literally, a word-based journey through uncomfortable situations and landscapes of X-rated B-movies.

Imagine the beat poets had a less well-adjusted younger brother and he’s on the road-trip of his life. The twisting and twisted narrative hurtles through ideas of paranoia, taboos, love and death, but mostly death, from the small-scale with dead phone batteries preventing communication, through to daydreaming of killing a man for wearing an EDL T-shirt, and wanting to destroy a whole list of ideologies and irritating -isms.

From a car-crash of a dinner with his sort-of girlfriend’s family through to killing a lookalike priest, the nightmarish fantasy accelerates towards what seems like inevitable destruction. But nothing here is inevitable.

Any monologue by a person sitting still needs something to lift text off the page. This performance lifts the text off the page, chews up that page, spits it out and disposes of the evidence in a scary part of town.

– Helen Devonshire

Performance: Saturday 3 October, 7pm at Inside Out.
Running time: 75 minutes.