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Keeping an audience mesmerised for an hour takes one seriously talented storyteller. Brummie performance poet Polarbear’s third full-length show combines directness, affable humour and rhythmic vim, as he considers how the ‘me’ he once was became the man he is today.
‘Old Me’ leaps back and forth through episodes from Polarbear’s life, some small, some significant, all relayed with remarkable immediacy. He acts out a fight between his father and uncle; recalls the time he and his best mate Andy devised a ‘kung fu dance’ to impress an older girl; gets wasted in Vegas; argues with the bank manager; decides to move to London; becomes a dad.
Daniel Marcus Clark’s gentle score adds just enough to enhance Polarbear’s words. Much of the material comes from everyday experience. Reflecting this, the language Polarbear uses is straightforward, yet the way he uses it is anything but. His agile mastery of tempo and mood give certain moments, such as the paternal lesson in following your gut, a vividness that stays with you long after ‘Old Me’ is over.