On the nineteenth day of Christmas,
The Bakery gave to me:
Santa having a breakdown
Earlier this month, Oxford was host to another of its top-notch No Reading Alone events. As with the first three events, organiser Ewan was kind enough to request a contribution from The Bakery. This time, though, I decided to experiment with something a little different.
I wanted to devise a monologue which was too bizarre to be a straight dramatic piece, but which was too straight to be called stand-up. Hopefully, the audience would be confused as to whether to look for gags or worry about my state of mind. Judging from the slightly disturbed faces that stared back at me, I think it was a successful experiment.
After the performance, a chap came up to me and said “I have no idea what that was, but I really enjoyed it.” This was pretty much precisely the response I was hoping for, and the best feedback I could have wanted.
Below is an audio recording of my 10 minute performance. I don’t think it works quite as well when you can’t see me, because some of the amusing/disturbing nature came from the contrast between my sincere delivery and my unkempt Santa costume. So for that reason, I would like to ask you to browse through the photos while you listen to the piece, and animate them in your mind.
I hope you enjoy this experimental oddity. It helps if you have a familiarity with Wham lyrics…[audio: https://bakery.s3.amazonaws.com/Advent%20calendar/nra4-melancholy-santa.mp3]
In case you’re wondering what produces the enthusiastic laugh which caps off the monologue, I was holding a limp Christmas cracker throughout, which I drew particular attention to whilst saying how the “answer is often right in front of you.” I then silently gestured to an audience member to pull the cracker.
The audience member pulls and wins. Leaving me to look devastated at my pathetic tiny vestige of cracker-end, while the audience laugh at my festive misfortune.
Big thanks to Ewan, also to Anna Fowler for taking the great snaps above.