Sunday, 26 October 2008

Late night, white night

Late-night poetry reading in the gallery, was made even more wonderful by having stumbled upon it by chance. It was moving, it was passionate, it was humorous, intimate. But when I saw her take a diaphragm deep breath, I knew her voice was going to rise into a 'do join in' song, and I cringed. Part of me wanted to run.

Did I miss something? Some connection  from what went before? See, I'm not sure why they had to end it with a rousing version of 'Oh, dear, what can the matter be', like some strange mix of hark back to an Edwardian music hall singalong and repetitive nursery school songs. 

I didn't look around at the other people in the audience, I gazed at a beautiful painting instead, but I'm sure I wasn't the only person not joining in. I was very well-behaved and stayed sitting until the end of the piece, like I would at any other performance. Surprise Community singing does not always fit the occasion, no matter how great the performer is at delivering the material to a slow-to-respond crowd. 

Good to move on to other performances, but I was sorry that the poetry set had ended that way.