Mini-Review: David Attree at Brighton Fringe 2019

I should start by saying I don’t feel I can give a traditional star rating in this new format “mini-review” as I only saw about a quarter of an hour’s performance. Regardless of that, I do hope to see a full show of David Attree’s soon. This mini-review will be talking about a short section that David performed in as part of Joseph J Clark’s show Drunk With A Pen. You can read my review of the rest of the show here.

Attree has a commanding presence. The show was taking place in a stage-fitted shipping container and Attree makes light work of the stage’s length from the moment he steps upon it with his dramatic gesturing and movement. Sleeves rolled up, we hear a poem that’s familiar to anyone who has gone through a transition in life – in Attree’s case he’s discussing growing older and changing generations. In Flyers Attree describes a flyer landing in his hand for a live concert, impulsively deciding to go even knowing the music will be unfamiliar territory and then feeling strangely disconnected from the situation. The second poem from Attree, Appetite, again plays on the impulsiveness. Deciding to write a poem about the first thing he hears on Radio 4, we hear a discussion about appetite in all senses, an appetite for life and how that can impact people.

The enjoyment of Attree’s work here comes from the decidedly comfortable and warm tone that he takes with his words. He is evidently passionate and excited about the topics he talks about. The impulsive nature of the subject matter in his poems is reflected in his performance style – energetic, spirited and zestful. His efforts are reflected in the audience’s constant engagement and the repeated nods and occasional laughs which he definitely feeds from.

It would be excellent to see a deeper contrast in the content of Attree’s poems, although I feel this is heavily due to the short period of time Attree had on stage. I feel the content between the two poems was relatively similar in terms of themes explored and I would enjoy seeing a full representation of his repertoire.

David Attree runs a Facebook page called ‘Poem Tennis’ where he writes poems in response to being “served” a word or title. Check it out here.