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March 7, 2005 | by  | in Theatre |
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Karaoke Poetry

Karaoke Poetry, Written and Performed By Craig Ireson, Video by Johanna Sanders, BATS 25 – 27 February

“Imagine if you will A Karaoke Booth
Where instead of a bound
Book of Songs
From which to pick
There’s a thick volume of verse”

Karaoke Poetry is a look into a (hopefully imaginary) Wellington subculture, that of the Karaoke Poet. People get together every night “to read and rehearse” as a way of escaping their normal, mundane lives. In an hour, Craig Ireson and crew are able to perform almost every style of poetry imaginable from T.S. Eliot to Missy Elliot in small easily digestible parts; apparently Tennyson is a Wellington favorite. This is a fun introduction to different styles of poetry for those who say that they don’t like poetry. While there is some original work such as the introduction that I quote above, most of the performance rehashes the work of others. Of note were the performances of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ and Denis Glover’s ‘The Magpie Said’.

This is accompanied by music from Andrew Savage on electric guitar; he performs his role as backup guitar to poetry admirably but comes into his own when he is unleashed on his guitar and is able to contort its sound in many weird and unpredictable ways. These two are joined by Ciara Mulholland as the Glossary Girl, with piles of A4 pages with print just large enough to incite the audience to speak.

The most enjoyable part of Karaoke Poetry, however, is Johanna Sanders’ multimedia display. This too is highly varied, mixing Big Brother-style interviews, a sexy spoken word rendition of ‘Work It’ and more traditional Karaoke visuals also to try and encourage audience participation.

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About the Author ()

HAILING FROM the upper-middle- class hell of Havelock North, Jules is in the final semester of a bachelor’s degree in Trenchermanship (majoring in Gourmandry), is a self-professed Anarcho-Dandy and resides in the Aro Valley. He likes to spend his days pursuing whimsical follies of every sort and his evenings gallivanting through the bars and restaurants of Wellington in search of the perfect wine list. He has unfailingly dedicated his life to the excessive consumption of food and drink (despite having no discernable way of paying for it), and expects to die of simultaneous heart and kidney failure at thirty-nine. His only hope is that very soon people will start to pay him for his opinions (of which he is endowed with aplenty). Jules has a penchant for vintage Oloroso.

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