Audience withNorth WestReview

Andy Kirkpatrick – Psychovertical – The Lowry, Salford

Writer/Director: Andy Kirkpatrick

Reviewer: Sam Lowe

Walking into the foyer, this event has attracted quite a following, perhaps many of them are climbers and walkers. There were people at the theatre who might not usually go to the theatre. So, this is a positive start to the evening. Speakers from the Edge present speaker, Andy Kirkpatrick, a British mountaineer, author, and motivational speaker. Beginning the talk about growing up in Hull, he then reflects back on his forty years of climbing and adventurous travelling. During his life, he has climbed in many places such as the Alps, Patagonia, Yosemite, Greenland, California, and Ireland. 

Now journeying on to the talk itself, Kirkpatrick’s adventures and life stories are inspirational and amazing to listen to. Especially, learning about the relationships with people he has met along the way, and how he has transformed young people’s lives. However, to be honest, this is perhaps not the most well-crafted of talks. Most of the evening feels improvised, littered with irrelevant and superfluous comments. Some anecdotes travel on a massive tangent, which loses people’s attention. The word ‘amazing’ features far too many times, there is too much swearing and the humour injected into the talk is hit and miss; some jokes are mildly amusing, while others are potentially offensive. Numerous moments in the talk fall into the realm of being self indulgent. Although, the use of photos and video clips all the way through effectively accompanies the talk, and provides a real insight into Kirkpatrick’s experience.

The delivery of the talk overall is not as well executed as it could be. Kirkpatrick speaks too fast and is not that clear for the most part, throwing away certain comments as if they don’t matter, instead of owning the stage and the talk. He relaxes more into the talk by the end though. His speaking style is too casual for this context, and the performance style is indistinct. On the other hand, he is a likeable and quirky person and this does shine through.

On the whole, the talk is quite informative about the techniques of climbing and there are perhaps one or two enriching messages to take away. But, it feels like Kirkpatrick delivers much of his stories as though he is talking about going on a night out on the town, forgetting about the motivational potential of the talk. Unfortunately, this talk is diffused and somewhat unfocused, and fails to get to the very heart, core and meaning behind the stories.

Reviewed on 12th March 2018 | Image: Contributed

Review Overview

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Not a well crafted talk

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The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Mark Clegg. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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