I’ve never been to Margate, Kent, let alone its theme park Dreamland. This had me concerned as I entered Margate/Dreamland at Shoreditch Town Hall’s ditch theatre. Yet somehow during the hour and a half performance, an ode to the seaside town, my lack of knowledge didn’t seem to matter.

The elegiac poem performed by maverick Shunt Collective members Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari, jumps from the existential to the mundane as Margate/Dreamland discusses gentrification, racism, and even just the weather, recalling any neglected town across today’s Britain. It may be Margate, but the complicated feelings people associate with home are universal.

The poem-cum-song explores the life of the town, the people in it, and the things they say over the course of a year. The writing is exemplary, and the focus on the inhabitants and their voices is where it excels. A simple descriptive list metamorphoses into different voices of the people musing on their Margate, from teenagers embarrassed by their parents, to those concerned by Margate turning into a hipster paradise – “it’s not Berlin” – and the unemployed.

Best of all, it’s funny. Mari starts the work with a literary-hour style description of “what can you see?”, but it is when Barrett joins her on stage sporting a ludicrous combination of boxers, sand and some strategically placed seaweed, that things take a surreal, Mighty Boosh-esque turn. Barrett in all his sandy glory becomes Margate – sign posted by a leap to a falsetto half-speaking half-singing voice – and draws you in to its world.

Barrett gives a stand out performance, and demonstrates not only an excellent knack for comic delivery, but an ability to command the stage. Sadly, this may have been to the detriment of his fellow performer as the work was slightly marred by Lousie Mari stumbling over her words in several places. This was surprising considering both players were reading their lines, orchestra-style, from stands, and momentarily broke the Margate spell, which was a shame.

The third voice is the Jon Hopkins-style soundtrack provided by musical duo AKDK (Ed Chivers and Graham Sowerby) at the back of the stage. Accomplished, and mesmerising drums and synths, the spellbinding electric performance could be a separate event in itself, and both complements and agitates the punchy, disjointed spoken word. Towards the end, I even found my focus gravitating away from the cyclical words of the people of Margate to the quasi-therapeutic music.

As poetry clashes with intensifying crescendos of music, once again Shunt push the boundaries of live performance. It’s strange, but weirdly mesmerising and by the end I too wanted to say of Margate: “This is the place. This is home.”

Margate/Dreamland played Shoreditch Town Hall until 20 May.