InReview InReview

Support independent journalism


Yarn Spinning with Kitty Flanagan


Comments Print article

Yarn Spinning, Word Adelaide’s opening event, filled The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel on the promise of an evening of tall stories and an audience-voted battle for $1000 prize money. Competitors Michael Gillan, John .R. Sabine, Kevin Naughton and Tracey Korsten were joined by guest raconteurs John Schumann (musician and songwriter), comedian Eddie Bannon and former Triple M radio announcer Sheridan Stewart. Fellow guest 891 ABC presenter Ian Henschke swapped roles made the (perhaps rash) decision to throw his notes away and become a last-minute contender for the cash instead.

Some performances worked but others struggled to hold the audience with material that needed better editing and a lot more polish. Accomplished host Kitty Flanagan might make it look like a doddle but getting up there and getting it right is way, way harder than it appears. There was too much straying into stand-up territory and several moments where we were all yearning for someone to yell ‘cut!’ but there were plenty of highlights, too. Contestants Naughton, Sabine and Korsten all gave well-crafted performances and were obviously comfortable in the spotlight.

A couple of extra-special guests made surprise visits to the stage. Word Adelaide star attractions Guy Pratt – accomplished lyricist and bassist to big names including Pink Floyd, Robert Palmer, Icehouse – was a hit and festival headliner Matt Lucas shared a violently funny (true story) run-in with a light-fingered flower selling granny in London.

It was a long night (there was plenty of waffle and more than a few detours) but those who stuck around for the vote-counting  were rewarded with a truly hilarious closing treat from Dave Flanagan. His award-winning 1993 yarn and opinions on Adelaide’s ‘different’ approach to transport might have been old ground, but it was recovered by a master.

All that was left was to announce the winner and it was a pretty close race – champion storyteller Kevin Naughton got an honourable mention for his clever and convoluted cricket tale, but it was farmer John’s three-legged dog story that won the dosh. A bit patchy, and with more than a few loose threads, but all in all a fun night at the pub that could easily become a yearly event.

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More Theatre stories

Loading next article