Saturday, 18 June 2011

Bard of Worcestershire

Well, the Worcestershire Literary Festival is offically open and the first Bard of Worcestershire has been crowned - Theo Theobald.  According to his profile, he has a long history in journalism (national and local papers) and has won two poetry slams in the Midlands, he can now add Worcestershire Poet Laureate to his CV!  He was a highly accomplished act on the night, and a pork pie style hat, together with a couple of carrier bags, helped jettison him in to first place.  The panel of judges went out of sight to make their decision and returned an agonising 20-25 minutes later.  Congratulations to my mate, Fergus McGonigal, who has already started his duties as runner up, and also to friend Heather Wastie who claimed a very respectable third place.  The venue, Worcester Cathedral was stunning and the performers were not only dazzling but dazzled by the selection of official bling that was displayed by visiting dignitaries.

Although I did not finish in the top three, the comments from friends and strangers alike, helped overcome the disappointment which naturally crept in.  Special mention must be made to Sarah James who always delivers. Immaculate might seem a strange word to use about a poet but she literally paints pictures with her words.  I am somewhat surprised that she, too, was relegated to the losers bench.  However, we are united in defeat and go on to perform at The Marrs Bar on June 20th, Little Venice - Parole Parlate on 23rd, and the Worcester Slam, Drummonds on 26th.

The whole lead up to this event has made me knuckle down to more writing and I am delighted to say that I shall be joining ex Birmingham Poet Laureate, Charlie Jordan, Lorna Mehan and Laura Biding in a four diva show as part of the Birmingham Arts Fest later this year. 

If you are in Worcester on June 22nd, why don't you call in to the Arts Cafe and catch a couple of short plays?  A bawdy romp and a classic case of till rage!  Hope to see you there but if Birmingham is nearer to you, I shall be at the Birmingham Library Theatre on Monday, June 20th and the Irish Nite at The Old Crown, Digbeth on June 29th.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Busy and exciting June

WLF strapline master

I can't believe that May has come and gone and we are almost half way through 2011.  Worse still, I didn't put anything on my blog.  Well, hopefully, June will make amends.

For me, the Worcestershire Literary Festival dominates the next few weeks.  This is the first one and congratulations and plaudits must go to Lisa Ventura and her fantastic team for bringing the festival to life from what was an idealistic dream of Lisa's.  Events, workshops, plays, slams, poetry readings etc. etc.  just go to their website for all information.  I have the honour to be one of ten poets shortlisted for Bard of Worcestershire, the first Worcestershire Poet Laureate.  The title will be bestowed on one of us on Friday, June 17th, at Worcester Cathedral.  All welcome.  A rehearsal took place at the cathedral yesterday and what a venue!  The Lord Mayor of Worcester will officially launch the festival on that night and thereafter follows ten days of literary events for all,  whatever your tastes.

Hope to see you at the Arts Cafe on June 22nd (two plays, one especially written for the festival), Parole Parlate, Little Venice on June 23rd, and the Worcester Slam at Drummonds on June 26th.  Dozens of other events to choose from too.