Richard Burton Company
En route to an infamous free party hosted by a voice who has morphed from his own observations, we engage with the mannequins modelling the latest silicon stretch marks while the local bruisers smash heads together and snort lines through rolled up Charlie Darwins. Guttermouth retells the grotty events from start to finish following a drunken night out of youthful indulgence involving sex, drugs and drum’n’bass. Written in contemporary verse, combined with physical theatre and an original soundtrack of newly composed anthems.
A one-man show written and performed by Greg Shewring, directed by Jesse Jones.
£8 / £6 concessions
Emerging from a wheelie bin, our narrator (Greg Shewring), the self-professed ‘mouth of the gutter’, takes his audience through the events of a heavy night out. Shewring, also the writer, produces a vivid image of a civilization which ‘tilts perpendicular’ through evocative poetry and energetic delivery. The rapid pace of his piece means that moments of silent or crudely un-poetic physical theatre are used to punctuate the atmosphere to wonderful comic effect. Occasionally, Shrewing takes a little too long over his words, and in these moments his tale loses its charge. However, nothing remains static for long in this production; his story and the surroundings his words create flit between beauty and grime, to the point that the two become at moments indistinguishable in their simultaneity.
Shewring’s compelling performance is supported by exceptionally tight tech. The soundtrack of drum and base, newly composed by Joe Newman, is atmospheric and infectious, and is used to inject Guttermouth with an incredible energy. Shewring adds to the soundscape with impressive beat-boxing and harmonica playing (sometimes doing both at the same time) as well as some really quite stunning a cappella singing. As with Shewring’s poetry, the music is able to crack open a calm moment with a cacophony of energy and grime, and equally able to instil unexpected stillness upon chaos.
Guttermouth is dirty and hilarious, and punctuated with moments of real poetic beauty. Its wry observations create something beautiful as they depict a state of things which is anything but pretty.
by Megan Dalton