4th June 2016

The Rondo theatre is a small but perfectly formed theatre in Larkhall, in the backstreets of Bath. The front of house and bar is run by a team of volunteers and has been for years. It’s an intimate venue, perfect for ‘Pinky and Quirky’. The majority of the audience wore glasses and had a high proportion of white hair, with comedian and poet John Wood selling poetry books entitled ‘Ageing Gracefully’ it’s easy to see why.

Six men appear in floral shirts on stage, each one looking like someone’s dad, six microphones acquire a partner in crime and ‘Kettle of Fish’ begin tonight’s entertainment. The night was quite simply described by Wood’s as ‘a night of poetry readings and a choir’. However, the breadth and depth of the harmonies and rhythm delivered by this male A Cappella choir, or band of merry men keeps the audience laughing singing and clapping along all evening. The arrangements of Adam Barber and David Yapp are definitely quirky. We hit heady heights with a rendition of ‘Re:Your Brains’ by Jonathon Coulton with zombie audience participation. As Neil Bett from ‘Kettle of Fish’ noted we were ‘as wild as Bath gets on a Friday night’!

Underlying humour throughout both poetry and songs kept the energy and atmosphere light, playful and charming. Material is delivered with wicked glints in the eyes of the performers and there is a particular laid back Bath vibe in the air – be that heavily influenced by radio four, heart issues and Imodium. The perfect stage for Wood’s serious limericks that packed a punch after reams of light humour. Music hall or cabaret style rather than a multi-pronged art house performance. All in all a jolly evening out.


Anita MacCallum