Last night I enjoyed my first visit to Aces and Eights, a lovely pub and venue with a punk feel and amazing looking pizzas (should have got there earlier to eat!) directly opposite Tufnell Park tube station. Even with my terrible sense of direction I couldn’t get lost.
Their basement venue has a great grunge cabaret feel to it, with little tables and velvet curtains. This set the tone for the show I was there to see, Dan Horrigan’s Riot To Heaven.
I had no idea what to expect, mainly because I like to be surprised so only skim a press release until after I see a show. I was delighted to find myself enjoying an evening of atmospheric and evocative story-telling. 4 stories are shared by 4 men, each feels personal to the storyteller (despite all being written by Dan Horrigan), because they each have such different tones and energies to them. They are linked by love, loss, and a seductive strand of darkness.
A story of homelessness and an unusual friendship is positively poetic. A prisoner explaining how he ended up in prison, has a confessional vulnerability to it that draws the audience in (quite literally, given elements of audience participation). A nameless womaniser’s rage and anguish is delivered with a disturbing conviction. While the final tale of lost love, violence and a criminal past ends the evening on an optimistic note.
I suspect these stories will linger with me for quite a while. Riot To Heaven closes tonight (20th August). If you can make it to Aces & Eights Tufnell Park by 8.30pm (earlier if you want to try the pizza), I can promise a night of fascinating stories shared by masterful storytellers. AT £5 a ticket, it’d be rude not to.