‘This is How We Die’ – Battersea Arts Centre

‘This is How We Die’ is a one man show, currently on at Battersea Arts Centre for the next couple of weeks.

The lights come up to show a desk, a chair, a glass of water, a pile of paper, and one man, Christopher Brett Bailey, leaning into a single microphone on a stand, his quiff quivering and voice gymnastic.

What comes next is a stream of words, a speech, a story, that could have come from the combined dreams or nightmares of Quentin Tarantino, Holden Caulfield and DBC Pierre, initially spoken at terrifying speed and volume, turning pages as he reads, echoing sounds and enunciating words though the echoing shift of the microphone, taking pleasure in lip smacking and snarling with words out.

He takes you on an anarchic American road trip, screeching round corners, taking in some strange and obscene sights, and taking diversions into some of the most successful pieces, like his description of dating, romancing, seducing and fucking himself – a hilarious moment.

The pitch of the speech rises to a real crescendo at the end – I won’t give the game away entirely in what way, save to say I wasn’t sold on the ending. I thought the skill and bravery in presenting one man, one desk, one microphone, and the dexterity of the words was a bit spoiled by the ending. Perhaps I’m not quite anarchic enough for the show after all.

The show runs until 20th June, so do go along, and tell me what you think.

It’s chaotic, violent and mesmerising, encompassing

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