My Name is Irrelevant (4 stars)

My Name is Irrelevant

A journey through a broken mind

Matthew Hall's arresting poetic performance in My Name is Irrelevant skillfully guides the audience through a fractured psyche.

Hall uses an old-school slide projector to show pictures of a huge roster of colourful characters. Each one has a name and a story delivered with rising intensity by an increasingly manic Hall. The click of the projector as it changes slides punctuates the end of one tale and the beginning of the next, giving Hall, and the audience, a moment to breathe.

Hall's verse is accompanied by a live original score written and performed by Jim Harbourne. Using a drum box and guitar, the rhythmic music blends effortlessly with Hall's poetry. The effect is almost hypnotic, dragging the audience further and further into the world of Hall's creations.

The stories Hall tells about the people in his head vary enormously, from clearly fantastical to entirely mundane. The diversity of his imaginary companions makes real the struggle to keep a grip on reality when the fiction is so tempting.

However, this isn't a tragic tale. The message is one of hope. Hall's display of a tragic descent into madness is so convincing that his ability to pull it back and leave on an optimistic, but realistic, note is all the more remarkable.

Assembly Hall, until 28 Aug (not 14, 21), 3pm, £9–£11 (£8–£10).

My Name is Irrelevant

  • 4 stars

Matthew Leonard Hall In a world created by your imagination it can be difficult to work out what is fictional and what is reality. A man gives a lecture about all of the people he has met in his life, but as he delves deeper into his mind things start to unravel. As the stories escalate the audience start to see the…

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