There probably aren’t many free venues that are packed to the seams, having to turn people away and fit others into the corners with Tetris-like ingenuity. But, then again, not every show is as enjoyable and competent as
There is no denying the worth and joy to be found in this solo-show
Tim Clare – also in the trio behind Grave Invaders in the same venue – chats cheerfully about his experience of anxiety, the necessity of being easy on yourself, and knowing when to go to bed. He seems constantly on edge onstage, while always at ease with the audience and with his work: it is difficult to see how these two things have been reconciled so naturally.
Beyond his comforting self-deprecation is a robust dexterity in creating fantastical spoken word pieces based on his everyday life. This even includes hip-hop battle therapy sessions, in an inspiring three-minute journey to achieve confidence in his expression. On the other end of the spectrum, a rousing piece on elitist high art versus more authentic jokes on flatulence. All of his pieces, regardless of their different context, employ the same dazzling imagery, toying wordplay, and zest for his work. Clare is a performer of heartening range in tone, topic, and style.
As a schoolteacher, his time in the classroom and presumably unofficial class exercises are often drawn on too. After his descriptions of school classes and the kids’ contributions, you will leave his show wanting to become a schoolteacher or simply wishing you’d been taught by Tim Clare. If every school had a teacher like him energising the class populace, the world would be a much better place.
His work in Grave Invaders has slightly more force to it, but there is no denying the worth and joy to be found in this solo-show. Stop spending and head over.