Ken Dodd

Its been an unusually busy winter period for us; an installation for Winterlight in Sowerby Bridge with Edward Taylor, Steve Gumbley and Bryan Tweddle then a short 6 Impossible Things tour in Kent. December is more known at Avanti HQ for book keeping. Watching a bit of Christmas telly I saw a program on channel five, Ken Dodd ‘In His Own Words’. As usual there was lots to enjoy, watching Doddy is always a bit of a master class, he is the kind of multitalented clown/grotesque that in a different age would have been a court jester. Watching him interviewed, one notices that he is always torn between cracking a joke (from his huge reportoire) or trying to answer in a straight forward way, this is something many performers feel when in a meeting or more formal situation. I watched a bit more of his stuff on the Youtube and his comedy vent act is well worth a look. He even quoted Camus



“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow

Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead

Walk beside me… just be my friend”



“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow

Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead

Walk beside me… or why don’t you just go away….

6 Impossible Things shows in December

6 Impossible Things the show Avanti and Artizani made in 2014-15 is doing three gigs in Kent & Sussex in the tail end of the year. Anyone around that neck of the woods can catch the show at these venues. We are planning some more dates in the new year. Check the diary for more info.

Robertsbridge Village Hall – 28 December 2016

Hunton Village Hall – 29 December 2016

Ivychurch Village Hall – 30 December 2016


Video Here



I was asked to make a ‘Key Note Speech’ at the symposium at Out There Festival this year and as I have been thinking quite a bit about the companies history I accepted. In a year of archive-making and show-reviving it seemed an appropriate time to reflect, tell some stories and offer some thoughts and observations. I notice it seems to be a year for it, IOU, The World Famous, The Gandinis and even Pink Floyd are all making exhibitions or books. So here are the notes to my modest effort.


Out There Festival

Last weekend was the final Avanti XL. It has been an interesting if exhausting thing to try, seven different performances over two days. It turned out that performing the shows was not the most challenging part, once in the right trousers the details of the show were in muscle memory. It was everything else, the logistics and transport, schedules and plant hire, delivery times and pick up and finally loading both vans in the right order so it would all fit in. I had amazing support from the team without whom it would have been a nonstarter. Thanks also to the Out There tech team who took it all in their stride. Out There is run by Sea change arts and is one of the best outdoor arts festivals in the UK no, in Europe, aptly described by Maggie Clarke as ‘convivial’. Long may it continue.

Stockton International Riverside Festival

Over the weekend of the 6/7 August we played the Avanti XL at Stockton International Riverside Festival. This festival, one of the longest running outdoor arts festivals in the UK, has always been part of Avanti’s season. Over the years all of our shows have played there  A feature of the festival this year, and this is not unconnected with the fact we were presenting a retrospective of our work, was the number of young people we talked to, for whom the event has been part of their whole life. A young woman and her mum stopped by our backstage area to say she first saw The Spurting Man when she was four, twenty years ago! Whilst this can make one reflective on ones own story it also points out that she had probably seen most of the main Euopean outdoor performances of the last twenty years and could rightly be described as an expert. Where else in the UK is the audience so well informed?  Make no mistake Stockton is not without its problems and the festival is only one weekend, but look at the new magnificent sculpture The Stockton Flyer and the beautiful public fountain we were lucky enough to perform in this year. They both create focus and interest all year. Well done Stockton long may you continue.