Arts Reviews

“Inspiring Celebration of Fresh, Young Talent” Theatre Review: Chronic Insanity All Sorts @ Nonsuch Studios

Kyra Patterson

On 16th February, Chronic Insanity hosted their eleventh “All Sorts” open mic night at Nonsuch Studios! This event opens its stage to literally all sorts of talent, ranging from dramatic storytelling to heartfelt poetry, to quirky stand-up. Impact’s Kyra Patterson reviews. 

To kick off the evening, Nottingham’s very own Timothy Mark Ralphs, host of Beeston Tales, performed a dramatic folk story about a couple being tormented by their famished dogs. His low, husky tone worked to captivate the attention of the crowd and have us on the edge of our seats. 

Next, Ben Macpherson performed a charming poem called ‘Turn’. Listeners could relate to it as it described the many little fleeting moments we have in life, which we must turn from when the next inevitably interrupts. 

 A few more poets tried out some new material, most of whom paled in comparison to the aforementioned poetry performance. They were decidedly unmemorable as their themes consisted of the usual: heartbreak, loss and hope. Although one poem had the interesting title of ‘Velvet Decade’, used to denote the richness of being in your early 20’s. 

I found myself holding hands with strangers as we stomped our feet, jumped up and down and shouted ‘I love you’ so that the ghost would speak back

The final poem was performed by the host, Nat, entitled ‘Emotional Boner’. They used the phallic metaphor to liken the infatuation and confusion that people experience when they start to fall for someone to the feeling of an erection. This act completely stole the show before the second half had even commenced! 

Following the interval, stand-up duo, 36 bags of soil, set the tone of the second half by delighting us with multiple comedy sketches. Combining singing Cockney policemen, humorous billionaires with fake Italian accents, and a giant inflatable hammer, the two men had the studio in fits of laughter.  

Capturing the true meaning of ‘All Sorts’, one act incorporated audience participation in their interactive ghost hunting performance. A spirit detector was passed around each row as we, the crowd, tried to call out to the ghost. I found myself holding hands with strangers as we stomped our feet, jumped up and down and shouted ‘I love you’ so that the ghost would speak back. This confirmed how unexpected the night could go. 

Some new talents were encouraged to sign up to perform last minute. Max and Alice graced our ears by singing two melancholy tunes and a University of Nottingham student gave his stand-up comedy a go for the first time. He used his five minutes to perform material about Prince Harry, ridiculed the current Prime Minister, and praised Come Dine with me 

My favourite act was a choir performance by Gang of Angels, a group consisting of six women, who made practically the whole crowd get up on their feet and dance. Singing proved the perfect way to end the night as well as the All Sorts’ household name, Doug, closed the show with a highly anticipated karaoke style rendition of a nostalgic song which everyone sang along to. 

The evening was an inspiring celebration of fresh, young talent as well as quirky experimentation. It would have been even better to see a more even balance between upbeat performances and emotional performances, as the first half seemed consecutively downcast. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable night and definitely an event worth attending for some casual weekday entertainment. 

All Sorts will be back on March 16th, 2023, for their 1-year anniversary at Nonsuch studios. You can purchase tickets at 

Kyra Patterson

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of @chronicinsanitytheatre via No changes were made to this image.

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