Michael Clarke @ Black Medicine

A heartfelt, hi-tech hour in Black Medicine's basement

Review by Polly Glynn | 14 Aug 2018
  • Michael Clarke @ Black Medicine

Everything in Michael Clarke’s life is a conspiracy based on felt. Or so it seems. From the school tea towel he proudly shows us to the hidden messages in his childhood drawings. It’s also something which shrouds an important life event for him, but despite it being a big reveal near the end of the hour, it’s dropped in less subtly throughout the show.

Felt is a heavily multimedia affair, demonstrating skill at both filmmaking and visual gags. There’s a really great segment about show sponsorship and how we should rebrand Cancer Research by being nice to it, as well as a showing of a prohibited feature film for dogs which is excellently disturbing. However, the audience is constantly being jerked in and out of the visual narrative with verbal asides and product placement for textile megacorps 'FeltaSkelta'. Also, the impostor-syndrome intro and outro seem to sit in a different gear to the rest of the show. It’s clearly an ambitious, elaborate and personal project for Clarke, but one that trips on that ambition and doesn't quite hit the sweet spot from time to time.

Michael Clarke: Felt, Black Medicine (Basement), 6-26 Aug, 10:45pm, £5/PWYW 

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