Vince Woods only recently moved to London after spending 25 years in Newcastle in North East England working in events and film. A Director and Producer, he originally studied Fine Art, specialising in animation and experimental film. He grew up around North England and spent his formative years in Blackpool. His debut feature as Director, ‘HARRIGAN’, is currently out on NETFLIX starring Stephen Tompkinson, a period thriller set in the dark, chaotic days of January 1974.
Before I asked him about his latest experience of a trip to the theatre, he told me a little bit more about his relocation.
I wanted to say my move to London was partly an exciting gamble, combined with a strong desire to be at the heart of a cultural melting pot of ideas and talents that for me, is unrivalled in the world today. My expectations have certainly been met and much, much more. The concern I now have is fitting everything I want to see and do into the time that I have. Meeting so many people writing, developing, building, creating, and most importantly, actually making it happen. The energy here is contagious and it’s infusing all those around.
What was the last theatre production you have seen in London?
Well, my most recent trip to the theatre was to see a group of such ‘infused’ individuals who have teamed up and worked dammed hard to create a comedy group called ‘The Perceptionists’ at the Hen & Chickens Theatre, Islington. A quirky, intimate theatre space with a rich history of stand-up comedy. It has hosted well-known names including Russell Brand and Jimmy Carr. The show is part of the Camden Fringe Festival.
“A brilliant idea is about making one of your many ‘good ideas’ actually happen…”
It is a series of comedy sketches which I can only describe it as a surreal, python-esque and a ludicrously funny view of life’s often bizarre situations. Ok, with a lot of suitably injected chaos and exaggeration. One such sketch, which I felt summed up the style and genre, was the speed dating scene in which a ‘joe average’ guy is unfortunate enough to be landed with a lady Detective Chief at Scotland Yard, who was intensely keen to know his whereabouts on the night of… along with his many other movements! There is of course a nice twist at the end.
What impressed you mostly about this theatre?
Its support of local and emerging talent. It’s a great incubator space for those that want to go out there and present themselves and their ideas to the world. It feels as if it is reflected in the name of the theatre, in my view at least. Logistically it holds around 100 people in the main theatre and with your drink in hand it’s a close, warm and enlivening experience. All for around the price of a glass of vino or two.
London is in great shape to keep pushing the boundaries of comedy, culture and art.
What is the message that you found there?
I am not sure there is a message as such, it’s more a common spirit. Sharing views, laughs, moments where people have a chance to talk it through after, with the performers and fellow audience members in the bar below the theatre. Hey and you can be honest with each other, say exactly what you think, create a debate, why not. If there was a message then it is that London is in great shape to keep pushing the boundaries of comedy, culture and art because it’s fun, exciting and rightly challenging working together. So join in and come along on the journey, its rewarding and enriching.
Why would you recommend it?
It is a change from the West End theatre and will supplement your taste for culture with more off beat experiences. Like a small cosy restaurant tucked away where they serve a unique menu. A variation of culinary delights for your palette to savour.
‘Perceptionists’ media contact Jo Ball