The Whisky Anorak return this year with writer and performer John Mark's new piece of
Clearly an expert on all things whisky and he has us in the palm of his hand
Mark describes the show as 'an abridged but ambitious history lesson' but with the added pleasure of whisky! The intelligence behind this piece is evident as he ingeniously links poignant cultural movements such as Dadaism and hippy culture to the rich and complex depths of whisky. It might sound like a strange concept but it works.
The tutored tastings that are incorporated within the piece also have a marvellous air of theatricality. Smart tables are arranged with three delicious whiskies and a silver spoon at each place. This leads to a delightful, ritualistic tasting of adding water then exploring the varying scents and flavours each tipple produces.
Though these tastings and 20th century subcultures seem worlds apart, Mark ties them together wonderfully. He examines the 'reduction' that is needed within history to process and understand individual events but then compares the distillation of whisky to the separation of all the counter cultures he examines. He masterfully explains how each movement has to be picked out individually just like the flavours of a good whisky.
There are times Mark seems to temporarily lose his place or when the script appears to be a little clumsy. But on reflection, these little imperfections really enhance the down-to-earth charm of this piece. He is clearly an expert on all things whisky and he has us in the palm of his hand as he shares his passion with us and takes us on an intimate journey through the 20th century.