Usher and Crisis artist Mark saw shows all the way through the Offbeat festival – here, he presents his thoughts!

Skip Skip Skip

Enjoyable, if naive, coming of age story of a ‘young Goth’ finding ‘your people’ in a small town with little going on and the challenges therein.  Would have skipped along better with an edit or two and delivered at a jauntier pace. Promising, like strawberry sunshine.


Love the concept, the content and where its head was at – it was at times thought-provoking.  The movement accompanying the soundscape did become repetitive and predictable.  After 10 minutes I was more focussed on the dialogue (playback) and the soundscape.

Maybe more variation on the movement/reaction with some ‘live’ dialogue interspersed with the recorded would have lifted the piece from liquorice Catherine wheel to sherbet dip dab.

Alex Cofield: Supernova

Great energy and fun!  There were several laugh out loud moments.  I really enjoyed the characters, the hour whizzed by like a thing that whizzes.  Thank you Mr Cofield for letting us have a peek inside your world, I’d love to see more.  All sorts of liquorice!

Watson & Malone: On Ice!

I hope I’ve witnessed the beginning of a great partnership.  ‘On Ice’ was a sheer delight – it was so much fun!  Watson & Malone’s attention to detail was spot on.  Their references to music/pop culture and deciding which salty snacks pop stars would eat had me laughing out loud as did their choice of theme park rides.  The writing so tight and movement/timing between the two performers was dead on it.  Not to mention the sheer bursts of peppermint fizz and brilliance that was ‘ice-dancing’ on stage – mesmerizing.  Seeing it twice didn’t produce less of a return, I laughed just as much, if not more.  In any event, I was reliably informed by Mr Watson that the piece was designed to work on at least 8 levels – I could certainly see it 6 more times.  This was a must-see show. The only disappointment was that it had to end – too soon!  I really don’t think it gets any better than this!  The best thing I saw at Offbeat 2019.

Her P & Qs

What a fantastic ride this was!  The choreography just amazing with great comedy from this duo.  I love it when performances take you into the characters’ world and take you on a journey which at the end you feel all the better for.  Made me think and made me laugh (loads).  More please!  I felt like lemon sherbet sunshine!


Did not disappoint. Nathan & Ida were perfect in this adventure set in chic St Tropez.  Being transported into their world was such a delight.  Made me smile and laugh from beginning to end.  The duo are masters of creating characters you immediately get, which is good as the pace was fast and the laughs were many.  I can’t recommend this highly enough.  Perfect as a lime and soda sunset.

What Does Stuff Do?

Hilarious, informative and fun throughout.  Robin Boon Dale got the balance right – his ability as a juggler was never in doubt.  His delivery and comedic timing and ability to engage an audience was a joy. Watching a man in swimming trunks juggling water amongst other things was great, however, his routine with the Flip Chart was a lesson in timing and physical comedy!  Fun.

Run Stanley, Run!

Very intrigued to see this piece in full having seen a small part as part of a theatre scratch night, I was left wanting more. I could not fault the passion and verve on display.  Some of the characterisations were not hitting the spot and therefore difficult to invest in.  Some of the word play seemed to be there just to make up the rhyme count and weren’t particularly inspiring.  That said there were moments that were a pure joy to witness including the powerful and extremely moving closing act.  Proof, if proof were needed, that there is genuine talent at work here.

Sound Cistem

I was intrigued to see this piece based on the description in the ‘Offbeat’ program.  I have to say it really fell short in terms of choreography – lacklustre and uninspired.  The voice over (extracts from people speaking about their experiences) was at times insightful and at times woefully obvious/shallow – maybe that was intended?  It did not help when the performers moved in reaction to the commentary and the parts where they were supposed to be in sync were annoyingly not.

A Moment

Putting aside the inspiration for A Moment (Bren Gosling’s Moment of Grace) this was an intimate duet.  With or without the background knowledge the piece was full of emotion and grace.  Thomas & Llewellyn were captivating from the ‘off’ or get go or start or beginning.  Anyhow, it was the second part that really stood out.  It was sublime and left this audience wanting more – please Thomas Page extend this piece!

Witch Hunt

Started well, I liked the premise and loved the visual gag with the witches’ hands.  Had few ‘laugh out loud’ moments and didn’t hold my attention throughout.  It worked best when the duo were riffing off script.


I really wanted to like this more.  I found the story interesting to begin with and it wasn’t without its moments of pathos and humour.  I found the music a little polite and laboured, as skilled as he was.  I found myself wanting it to end – not because it was bad just a little too long.


Joe Hicks
Amazing talent, reminded me of Ben Howard with a dash of John Martyn – just the right amount of loop pedal and rhythm track.  His playing was sublime as was his voice.  He is an engaging and entertaining musician with some great songs.

This artist may not be as accomplished a musician as some of the artists performing today but she demonstrated some strong material.  Her stage craft will I’m sure improve with time.

An interesting sound with an ear for a good tune.  Their cover versions were very good and not the obvious choices.  Anyone who can successfully cover a Prince song, The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, without sounding awful or deluded get my vote every time.  Fun!

Asher Dust
What can I say about this man that wouldn’t sound sycophantic?  Asher Dust is the moniker under which AJ has been recording and performing longer than One Direction existed.  He’s as soulful as Al Green with a gracious presence and a sense of humour.  His material is a mix of electronica, hip-hop, soul, pop and dub.  I really dug his groove.  He was playing some of his joints for the first time or the first time in a long time.  A really accomplished, if short, set from the sartorially flamboyant maestro.

Jali Fily Cissokho
Jali Fily Cissokho played West African kora.  A memorising sound.  This Senegalese master musician’s set flew by.  What a way to end the music segment of Offbeat!