Anthony Ayton: Kitchen Party Action
- Claire Sawers
- 13 August 2018
An honest show that's almost on the right tracks
Anthony Ayton always ends up in the kitchen at parties (hence the title). So he tries getting a party atmosphere going in this nightclub basement. Maybe it's just the crowd he's got in, but attempts to strike up banter don't go anywhere very good; what's much more interesting is his slant on UK race politics, class, drugs and social inequalities.
At 6 ft 5", he's literally scraping the ceiling as he describes his upbringing by a strong, single mum after his dad left. From working-class east London, he went to a posh boys' school where he was the only black kid, where one teacher told the other boys not to talk to him. But he's not after pity; he's more fascinated by some of Britain's odder hypocrisies. As a trying-to-quit stoner and criminal-duty solicitor, he notices drug dealers are doing well thanks to the 'war on drugs' but the NHS remains in crisis.
Ayton also wishes people were more honest, and less doe-eyed about the realities of marriage after his own broke down, amicably, not long ago. The moments where he stumbles over words and stops himself, saying he's trying to be as truthful as possible, seem like bits where he's on the right track. Ayton could stand out more if he left some of the more clichéd crowd chit-chat behind.
Laughing Horse @ Espionage, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 10.45pm, donations.