Daniel Kitson, Comedy

Alex Skinner 02/11/2009

A letter to Daniel Kitson: Review for 'We Are Gathered Here' November 2nd 2009

To Daniel Kitson,

Good day. Every time I attend a Daniel Kitson performance it takes about just over a week for things to fully sink in. Thereafter, It makes even more sense in my head.

Seeing such a thought provoking performance is utterly refreshing and 'We Are Gathered Here' is no different.

This year the Kitsonites have three shows to possibly see. This not only shows your skill, but your range of excessive talent. '66a Church Street: A Lament Made of Memories and Kept in Suitcases' 2008. An inspirational piece about the concept of a house becoming a home that's absorbing memories via it's walls.

'The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church', 2009. Is about a man who, having decided it's time to die, sets about putting his affairs in order and writing letters.

'We Are Gathered Here', 2009. Is about the concept that everyone you have ever known will die. Yet we dance in the looming shadows of mortality, we dance and we talk and we eat and we argue.

It is the most upbeat performance I have seen from your work, other times have often been nihilistic and bittersweet. Usually the theme is Loneliness, Life but mostly all centred around Love.

Although the bleak opening "We are all going to die, everyone we know will die" I left with a sensational lump in my throat reeling over the endless possibilities of life with a fresh outlook. This takes immaculate skill to bring the audience around to this life changing way of thinking.

Technically astute, you are a master of crowd manipulation Sir. Managing to orchestrate the audience to perfection with a range of call backs, repetition and emotional pull backs.

The material is fantastic, timing immaculate, bringing anecdotes and family stories we all have as memories.
Now at 32 you have managed to eloquently structure a view of all the things that make us who we are today. There is analysis of this when pointing out what idiots we may have been when we were younger, yet we change all the time due to the people around us.

It seems that learning to drive has opened up doors to a plethora of new material, being able to look at life from yet another perspective. Finding beauty in the most inane situations, albeit two indicators flashing in unison.

Thought patterns are thought about. Thoughts within thoughts get you thinking about your...inner thought process. Times when you're on your own and must wrestle with your own subconscious. The 'Cake In The Bin' slice of the show underlines this issue where there are two options:
1. To eat and feel sick for 4 hours
2. Prolong feeling sick for hours eating individual slices.
Instead, cake ends in the bin after a relentless thought process involving starving people ratio to feeling sick, therefore spoiling eating any healthier foods.

Other topics like tradition, the concept of family or even our place as humans on earth hits the mark. This is by no means an easy mountain to climb. But with this style you have been at the top of the game for years and 'We Are Gathered Here' now delivers yet another special show.

It is the little things in life we must not forget.
It's about being here now, at this time, in this place with having important people around us to gain knowledge from.
The theme of this show is Wisdom and Love which, is the meaning of philosophy.

Yours respectfully,

Alexander D. Skinner