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Performance poetry

Barbican Shakespeare Weekender

I got to share a stage with some of my favourite people/poets and chat about Billy Wagger Dagger! I can’t take the credit for that nickname, I stole it from someone who performed at Hammer & Tongue a while ago. And then I got to do a poem about my relationship with the Bard and his works.

Aside: Did you know that I once spent a day in a window display with nothing but the complete works of Shakespeare as part of an art exhibit? 

My poem was about when the weight of Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy really hit me. To help me express that vulnerability, I sat on the edge of the stage and delivered the poem to the audience who were all sat on the floor, rather than talk over their heads. I held eye contact with people for uncomfortably long periods while I talked about suicide ideation. The feedback was pretty great and I know I need to push on with this sort of thing.

Categories
Performance poetry

Barbican Young Poets Showcase – March 23rd!

A lovely little email today confirming the date of the Barbican Young Poets showcase. This is like the highlight of my poetry calendar and now it can be yours as well! You can buy your tickets here. Hurry though, as they have been selling out fast these days!

It really is a great event, full of some of the best young poets on the scene at the moment and it’s been great at pulling more people into the programme. Several of the poets this year were people who came last year and wanted to get involved (which led to a little bit of artist recognition at the first session when I did plenty of blushing at people reciting lines back to me).

I’ve given you almost a month’s notice so no excuses!

Categories
Performance poetry

Dialogue Aftermath

Dialogue was a tremendous experience and (dare I say it) I great success!

It was so enriching to see people from lots of different backgrounds responding to the same theme across a number of art forms. We had young people and children with special educational needs using music to show us how they experience the world on a day to day basis, immersing us in their reality of sensory overload.

The Messengers are a group of musicians made up of Guildhall students and people who have experienced homelessness – it’s done in collaboration with the charity St. Mungo’s Broadway (soon to be changed back to being called St. Mungo’s) as part of their recovery college. Again, for a festival themed around Outside/In, it was wonderful to see Barbican providing so many people who are made to feel like outsiders with the opportunity to have their voices heard.

Against that backdrop, I was quite nervous about performing, not to mention the fact that as I mentioned in my last post – I have a small fear of heights. It was a great place to be seated though as I was nestled in with the audience, much to the bemusement of the people sitting on either side of me when the spotlight was suddenly trained upon them and I started reciting from my seat. My poem was about going home to Manchester and feeling very much like a stranger in a city I thought I knew and tracing the history of the city back to Roman times.

Going forward, I want to try and do more odd placements of myself during performances as I felt it disrupted people’s expectations to not have their attention focused on a stage. I intend to chat to Jacob about this at a BYP session.

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Rich Mix – Sun 2nd August – 18:30-20:30

Excitingly, I’ve been asked by Jacob Sam-La Rose to do a ten minute set at the event that he is curating on Sunday at Rich Mix.

Rich Mix has been running a number of youth takeover events and this poetry evening is just one exciting event in the programme.

Come and check it out if you can!

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Walthamstow Garden Party

So, it looks like summer is shaping up to be a good ‘un.

Just received confirmation that I’ll be performing at Walthamstow Garden Party this July!

I shall be performing a group piece with some of the other Barbican Young Poets and sharing the stage with the new Barbican Junior Poets. Exciting thing to be a part of so if you’re in the area then please do come and check us out!