Rage Performing Arts Pages

Jem Rolls takes the plunge

Get this for an artfest .... the Oval House Theatre earlier this year.The whole building goes crazy - you enter through the psychedelic lobby, double take at the barrage of weird chanting, take your goodie bag, note there are some very weird looking people about.(Geezer with cloak, silver face and antlers). Go plunge into the art.

Across the cafe you see a cube of taut latex skin which appears to have a woman inside pushing herself, her face, her hands, her breasts against the latex. Wander off into a pink corridor adorned with volcanically pustulating papier-mache breasts. Move on - two hooped blonde girlies in silver and lace are caressing each other and reveling at the sight of themselves in the mirrors whilst smearing each other with tan and yet more silver paint.

Quick, escape into the ladies loo which is wall-papered with teen-love cartoon strips. Suddenly two wenches dressed as school girls try and chat you up. Time to run.Upstairs there is a very slow film flickering which looks very much like someone is dismembering bloody genitalia. Apparently somewhere else some guy is trying to crucify himself upside down. What ever turns you on I guess.

Mad stuff indeed came out of The Plunge Into Oval-Lation multi-media artfest - a gobsmacking, nackering eight hour extravaganza of film, art, installation, dance, poetry, music and just plain madness.

Art clubs, which have been going from strength to strength in New York, are on the up in London. There's the Cupboard Club, Jibby Beane's and the Puzzle Club to name but a few. Good, bad or indifferent it is definitely refreshing.

Now the Plunge is back, claiming to be the biggest and the best.The totally preposterous Art Enforcers (Rene Eyre and Bo Chapman) have got funding, bigger wackier ideas and a venue - the Loughborough Hotel in Brixton one Wednesday every month.They've got performance space, film and dance room, chill out space and the Plunge Into Big Word Poetry Cellar - run by yours truly of course.

Each Plunge has a theme. December is Native Nativity, boasting Indian Techno Dance from Jaysri Chandaria, Chris Twigg ( Mr Non-Sequitur or what? ..... potatoe-cakes) plus Cat Von Trapp with her opera excerpts. If that isn't enough they've also got Akure with her fluid African rolls of earnest rhythmic word, an installation movie from Di Harewood, jazz and spoken word from Wibble , poets Paul Lyalls, poet Eggs (Dan) and me of course. There will also be lots of visuals and DJS. How can you possibly miss out on this and still be cool ? The answer is you can't.

Plunge Club calendar

The Plunge Club is at the Loughborough Hotel, Loughborough Road, Brixton. entry fee 5. 3 concessions. 8 pm til 1 am.

Dec 20 Native Nativity

Jan 17 Rehearsal of The Millennium

Feb 21 Pet Politics

March 20 Deep Structure / Invasive Procedures

April 17 The Last Word

The Big Word Performance Poetry Club kicks off in the new year

at its fave haunt, the Tut N'Shive, Upper Islington, Islington on the 11th January '96 with The Wonderboy Preacher, Fabienne Audeoud, Anne Dalton, Neal Zipper and John Anstiss, and on the 16th January the same venue will see The Bristol Flyer with MC Jabber, Chris Stacy, Glenn and Pat West turning their prose for The Big Word.

Jem Rolls is the founder of The Big Word Performance Poetry Club.

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