Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Recent Adventures #1: Swindon Lit Fest & Aunty Beeb

Because I am constantly having lots of poet-y adventures, and always getting caught up in the midst of multiple activities, and am a bit of social can't-believe-it's-not-butterfly with too-many-things to see/hear/do, actually settling down to write about these adventures is often a little bit tricky.

Happy in Swindon
However, for your delectation and delight, and having found a few minute minutes to spare, I thought I would put pinkies to paper (well, laptop) and let you know about a few of the more recent, rather more exciting occurrences in Mabville.

First up, I performed at the Swindon Festival of Literature as part of a BBC Radio 4 show called Wondermentalist. This is described as a "comedy-infused, musically-enhanced poetry cabaret" and is presented by the very witty Mr Matt Harvey. The music comes courtesy of the super-talented Jerri Hart, who I bumped into at the hotel we'd all been booked into just as I was leaving for the gig. The other guest this time was the incredibly clever and funny Alex Horne.

A short taxi trip later and we were at Swindon Arts Centre, where I met Alison (the lady who'd Arranged Everything, from train to hotel to taxis to red wine upon arrival - manythanksindeed!) and Mark, the show producer. It was also really good to catch up with my poet friend Anthony Fairweather, who I did a show with last year as part of the Exeter Fringe Festival. 

Excited & nervous backstage!
Anyway, hanging out before the show was fun (except where the chaps started talking about sport) and performing, as always, was a lark. The heavy red curtains of the theatre space reminded me of one of my very first gigs at the Swansea Grand Theatre, where I'd had a strong deja vu-kinda experience being on stage with similar scarlet drapes... It was a feeling not just of I've-been-here-before, but also of belonging/being 'in the right place'. I often get this in theatre spaces, but when the red curtains are there I get it even more strongly. Maybe it's the womb-coloured comfort of the things, or maybe it's something left over from a past life... Either way, at the risk of sounding like a lascivious luvvie, one of the places I feel happiest is in the theatre. It's true, dah-ling!

A great gig, in any case, which I'll let you all know more about when it's aired (sometime in the autumn).  The Swindon audience were reeeeally up for it. And, it was fun hanging out after with Matt, Jerri, and some of the audience/people I'd met in the area before (hello @FestChroniclr et al!) afterwards, too. To cap it all off, Matt gave me one of the caps he had made. Here is a picture of it. 

So, thanks to Mark, Alison, Matt, Jerri and everyone else for a toptastic time. Swindon is cool - well, cooler than Slough (*in-joke*) - and I look forward to going there again (re-book meeee!).

More adventures to follow soon xxx

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