Friday brought the launch of Fierce 11. Events opened with a neat twist, we descended into a venue called The Vaults only to discover that, due to a quirk of topology, the apparently subterranean bar had a fairly decent view of the city.
There were very many familiar faces at the event, some not seen for a long time, but the place was too rammed to do much circulating and catching up. Pete and I found ourselves a quiet space next to the stage, which inevitably ceased to be a quite space once the action started. As the stage riser was low and the stage long and narrow, right at the front was the best place to be, so long as you are prepared to beam encouragement at all speakers and clap at the nearest hint of clapping being required.
Front of the crowd put us in the benign but exacting gaze of the host Barbara Nice. In a lazy way I always expect Barbara to be variant on Mrs. Merton, but of course she’s not, she much more fun than that, more dynamic, sparky and playful. After the speeches Miss. High Leg Kick, did her thing, which involved dressing like Lady Di, circa-The Engagement, using a muscular male model for Gym-Practice and rounding off with a few High Leg Kicks – ‘nuff said.
Barbara Nice reclaimed the stage and launched the festival by launching herself headlong into the throng, a stage dive that, as requested, took her all the way to the bar – admirable.
Kevin Isaacs, the festival’s Executive producer urged us all to see five shows and bring along five people. A few years ago I would have eclipsed this number, now there are family responsibilities. With Sarah undertaking her annual insane Markathon – this year the proceeds will be going on repairing the car – all hatches are batoned down. The only show logistics will allow us to see is B1 Labyrinths by Needless Allies, which takes place in the streets during the daytime on Saturday (and Monday). The good news is that this is amongst the shows I’m most anxious to see. Maybe the family Yarker will see you there too.