Flatpack ft Joe Lycett & Shaun Keaveny at the Town Hall review

I had been eagerly awaiting comedian Joe Lycett at the Town Hall for the opening of The Flatpack Festival and was delighted at how laid back and thought provoking the whole evening turned out to be.

We were eased into our Flatpack experience with a drinks reception at Dishoom, which was so enjoyable from the beverages to the incredibly polite and attentive staff giving an atmosphere that was relaxing and extremely pleasant to be apart of; the place itself is beautiful giving old worldly vibes without being dated.

The complementary drinks offered to us looked sophisticated and were full of flavour, the skilled bar tenders explained the mixtures and their base notes to us with ease while they breezed through making them. There was no such thing as a wait time and everything ran very smoothly and made for a wonderful experience. We were also treated to gift bags on arrival, containing their famous keyring, that when shown to staff allows you the chance to win a free bill, and all you have to do is roll a lucky six when presented with their dice! I was just happy to get a beautiful keyring let alone the lottery roll that comes with it. Also in the Dishoom totes were vouchers, heavenly incense sticks and chocolates. We ordered ourselves a few small plates of food after the event had finished and I can say the food is so nice that I have been back twice already since the event to try the breakfast and main menu; both of which were equally impressive.

Beginning in a very serious and ominous tone that had me assessing everything that was happening and fully invested on where it was taking me, then leaving me laughing and having a extremely different ending to what I had imagined..

By the time we got to the Town Hall I was already having a great time and Joe Lycett pretty much sealed the night with his and others amazing short films, along with screening his short film ‘Ray’ for the first time. Chatting to Shaun Keaveny, making us laugh about things as simple as tooth paste and a colourful shirt that seemed to have mixed reviews. The pair had everyone enthralled with their witty personalities and playing us with short clips of work other film makers had made, some were adverts that we had seen before but maybe never really taken note of and it was so interesting that once you actually sit and pay attention to those snippets you would otherwise overlook in-between your tv viewing, you realise how clever and beautifully put together they are. Comedy skits were also played and showed how a very simple idea can be made into this extremely humorous piece of work that gives a lot without being too long winded and complicated.

I found it so enlightening to listen to Joe and Shaun talk about the drive and inspiration that creates these works of art and how one small idea forms these moving images that capture the meanings and emotions of what they are representing. We were shown a music video for a artist I am now obsessed with, Katy J Pearson and the video Joe Lycett did for her song ‘Miracle’, the way the melody flowed with his and the musician vision was moving, as one audience member shouted. I could not take my eyes off the screen and the video really enhanced the artists sound and I just love it!

A very powerful music video by Sigur Ros was shown, the scenes depicting two young boys and the negative reaction towards their sexuality. Both boys playing a very stereotypical “manly” game of football and everyone cheering them on until they embrace and are aggressively prised apart by a priest and the father of one of the boys, who in the beginning of the video wasn’t happy about his son playing with dolls and tore them from his grasp throwing them away. It really shone a light on how you can be praised by society for fitting in to the social norms until you break them and Joe Lycett pointed out the relevance a short film can still have years down the line. Coincidentally as male professional footballer has come out as gay for the first time in 30 years in the UK which just reminds you of how there is still a stigma we are trying to overcome if this is only happening now.

When it finally came to the first screening of Joe Lycett’s new short film “Ray” I was thoroughly enraptured in the scenes playing out in front of me. Beginning in a very serious and ominous tone that had me assessing everything that was happening and fully invested on where it was taking me, then leaving me laughing and having a extremely different ending to what I had imagined and that was so clever to me, flipping the emotions of the audience with just one quick outcome.

In a few minutes a video can give you so much to think about and that is something that was shown to us throughout the night. The passion in these projects are very apparent when seeing them in all their glory on screen and the overall night just showcased how Joe Lycett is without doubt a talented individual and has added film making to his long list of abilities, plus he is very proud to be a brummie so what’s not to love!

Words by Wallis Brown for Grapevine Birmingham (https://www.instagram.com/wonderfulyou_xo)