EVENT REVIEW: Screenage Kicks – American Psycho @ Civic Centre, Newcastle (01.11.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Leigh Venus

As an unsheathed, defiantly swinging penis whipped past me (accompanied by a no-less defiant swinging chainsaw), Screenage Kicks fully delivered yet again on the surprise, joy and sheer all-in commitment that is the signature of these much-loved events.

With 2000’s American Psycho, director Mary Harron delivered an initially polarising adaptation of the Brett Easton Ellis novel; a lean, less graphic take on the transgressive source material that has grown in stature over the years.

The Screenage Kicks team set the stage for a night of eighties excess, greed and consumer culture, making over Newcastle Civic Centre into the twisted, high society world where Patrick Bateman (future Dark Knight Christian Bale) operates.

With the gorgeous modernist interior transformed into an alluring yuppie playground, we were led through the building. Encountering passed-out socialites and social vampires, we ended up (via a brief strobe-lit, left-field encounter with Leatherface) at the Dorsia; the stunning banqueting hall transformed into the impossibly-exclusive restaurant frequented by Bateman in the film.

Kicking off with a live performance of eighties bangers by the Screenage Kicks Allstar band, the crowd were dressed up and hyped up for what was an unforgettable experience, peppered throughout with live interventions from Patrick Bateman himself, including a real-time recreation of the classic scene where a naked, blood-spattered Bale mercilessly chases down a woman and drops a chainsaw on her; grim stuff rendered jarringly hilarious by the jaw-dropping appearance of an equally nude and incredibly game Screenage Kicks performer.

No matter what the film is – and they’ve done Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Labyrinth, True Romance and more – you can count on Screenage Kicks to deliver every time on a fun, inclusive event that works whether you can recite the movie off by heart or you’re walking in stone-cold.

So, another great night delivered and yet another excellent example (in a sea of great stuff happening across the region) of local people making things happen through sheer enthusiasm, dedication and love. Be sure to follow them, and always make a reservation in advance. The mud soup and the charcoal arugula are outrageous.

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