By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor
With the study break happening next week, you’re probably rushing to get any last minute major assignments in before some quality GPA denial time. Obviously you want to spend your time enjoying yourself, forgetting your educational worries. What better way to kick off the break than with a New Westminster installment of Say Wha?! Readings of Deliciously Rotten Writing?
Say Wha? ! is hosted by Vancouver’s own Sara Bynoe, a delightful woman about town and Jane of all artistic trades. In regards to the upcoming River Market performance happening this Thursday, Bynoe took some time to speak with us about this and her other upcoming shows, all of which I can guarantee will have you splitting your sides—even if you try to fight it.
“Say Wha?! is a literary-comedy show,” Bynoe begins, where “funny people read from terrible books. I will never pick a book for someone else to read; each reader is given the task to find a book that makes them utter the words “say wha?!” and then present their findings to an audience.
“The origins of Say Wha?! came when I was living in the UK. I went for a weekend in Bath with friends and I found a terrible romance novel in our hostel. I spent the weekend reading aloud from the book… we laughed at the atrocious dialogue, we giggled at the romance, and we guffawed at the plot. After that weekend my friends and I would go into used bookstores and [look for] the worst books we could find.”
Naturally, the show has thus far been a huge success. People gather to enjoy some of the best of the worst. Think of the event as a bad movie night, only instead of having to sit through all the unbearable moments, you just get the gold. But while those moments can be funny all on their own, what really makes the event memorable are the readers up on stage. Bynoe filled us in on this show’s set of readers:
“Lined up are Eric Fell and Lauren McGibbon (improvisers at Vancouver Theatre Sports League), and Ken Hegan (MSN travel writer, film and TV writer/director). They have all read at Say Wha?! before.
“I will also be reading. Most likely I’ll be reading from a book that won a major Canadian literary award that’s about a woman who has sex with a bear. My other book will probably be a terrible self-help dating advice book.”
While I haven’t seen Fell or Hegan before, I can attest that McGibbon is absolutely hilarious in her bad book findings and delivery, and you probably don’t need me to tell you that Bynoe herself is amazing. The lineup is a touch smaller than usual, but the gain is that we get to spend more time with the readers and really get a feel for what exactly makes these horrible books so fantastically horrible.
Another thing to keep in mind with Say Wha?!, as with any irony-based fun fair, is that it’s all in good spirit. Yes, we’re laughing at somebody’s work, but, well, sometimes a person’s work truly is awful. There’s no avoiding it, so why not enjoy it in a different light?
Bynoe wrapped up the interview with a list of her other upcoming shows and hosting duties, again, each of which is a treat in their own:
“I run a weekly dance class called Dance Dance Party Party, and I’m also hosting a screening of The Room at the Rio Theatre on Commercial Drive.
“My regular Say Wha?! night is at the Cottage Bistro and runs the third Wednesday of every month. The next show is February 20.”
Be sure to try and catch Say Wha?! at the River Market in New West, happening this Thursday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, but the price of admission is worth every penny.