Review by Norman Hadley
Of all the candidate professions for ‘world’s oldest ‘, story-telling is my favourite and Dominic Kelly my favourite practitioner. I’d seen him once before but last night he brought his epic story-cycle ‘Crow’ back home to Lancaster, in a mesmerising hour-long recital at the all-too-appropriate Storey Institute. This was a chance to tell these tales in the land that begat them, before Dominic takes them on tour to some obscure venue called the Barbican.
These were dark tales, as befitted the title, with transfiguration, abandonment and murder – and not just as a collective noun. There was lyrical language and sound use of repeated phrases and themes; time and again we were confronted with the silhouette of the crow “black against the sun, the light trickling down its head and the sweep of its shoulder to the gun-metal blue of its back; slippery with light, like mercury-washed slivers of metal.”
There was expressive delivery, dramatic gesture and good illustrative mime. He could hold a dialogue with himself by turning from side to side, just as Eddie Izzard does in a different context. He held the audience rapt throughout – some time, I will have to get Dominic to explain the secret of drawing an audience that was 80% female.
But above all was the quality of story-telling – exalting in the sheer delight of invention but veined with shimmers of plausibility; in the strong sense of place and teasing hints of autobiographical detail. The stories were interwoven and recursive with themes and motifs twisted back and forth through the cloth.
Those Londoners are in for a treat
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