The Long and the Short of It is a performance by a duo of “Poetry Consultants” by the name of Gary From Leeds and Richard Purnell respectively. Their tag line is “No Poem, No Fee”, which is quite a bold statement for a Free Fringe show. Never the less, for the next hour the audience is entertained by the performers who deliver their poetry with a natural to and fro between one another.
Topics expressed included bus routes, Leeds United Footballers, statistics and death. Apart from the latter, these are not exactly big issues, but they were performed by two capable performers who had an ability to express themselves in an affable and engaging manner.
The title if the show – The Long and the Short of It, stems from the fact that Gary is tall and Richard is short. However, both performers took command of the stage in equal measure and neither performer truly out shadowed the other. Each did have the their own take on poetry, with Gary preferring short comedic pieces and Richard presenting longer narrative prose like performances. This contrast worked well on stage and gave a degree of variety and interest in the well-constructed act.
A segment of the act included audience participation in writing a limerick. This section did not entirely work. The audience were asked to shout out words in which a rhyme could be constructed. Although a good idea, the concept took a while to really get going and the audience did not seem to be fully behind the intention. This section also changed the pace of the performance and defused some of the momentum that both Gary and Richard had previously developed.
Prior to the limerick we were presented with a series of line charts and Venn Diagrams, showcasing how different elements of poetry work together. This section was a departure from the poetry and showed a diversity to their act.
Overall The Long and Short of It fills the early afternoon Free Fringe slot with an enjoyable hour of poetry, with a few good laughs thrown in for measure.
The Long and the Short of It
4-25 August (Not 13,14 and 20)