I am so happy with the programme for WLF this year, they made the right decision to have a small selection of brilliant events and not to overcrowd or overstretch the team (as far as committees go, they are small), no-one yet seems too exhausted and so the energy and buzz surrounding each event is electrifying – and that’s before you settle down to watch and listen to the abundant talent this County offers.
It was a real treat to have SPOZ MC the event, especially as it clashed with HTO – HIT THE ODE, Birmingham, it was also lovely to see Maggie Doyle have a well deserved night off and enjoy the entertainment, of course Maggie still had an important role to play, as Heather Wastie – Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2015-2016 officially received her engraved PL trophy.
Heather Wastie presented with her poet laureate trophy at Worcester Speakeasy by Maggie Doyle. WLF Team © 2015
The venue was packed and the list of open mic-ers extended for the LITFEST. The booked performers included;
Leena Bachelor (who is loving the Lit Fest and reminds me of myself last year, when I was taking part for the first time too. A certain familiar Cheshire Cat grin).
Mogs (who was booked as King Mogs after winning the Rubber Sword Play Award on Tuesday evening at WLF).
Kathy Gee (who delighted us all with her character set and a requested performance of her crotch watching poem).
Alan Durham (who moved me with his prayer poem at the end of the set and was a delight to watch as always – another voice I could listen to forever).
Heather Wastie – of course, invited in her official role as WPL (who treated us to some of her new work, including a new commission).
Amanda Bonnick (whose poetry I ADORE, it is always a pleasure to listen to her and now has to write a new poem after her ‘Door introduction’ I think).
Mike Alma (who treated us to snippets from chapters of a much longer work which I think was never finished, it was different to hear his words chopped up this way – I enjoyed letting the sentences seep over me. As his set was 6 minutes he couldn’t treat us to chapter and verse).
Neil Laurenson (who entertained us with his usual dry humour, short poems with a punch-line delivered in a confident, straight manner).
And myself, I changed my set at the last minute – only 1 poem remained from the 3 I had prepared. Andrew Owens greeted me with a gift, he and his wife were shopping for a family camping trip, when he came across a polar cup that made him think of me…
There is a ‘Moustache Poem with Fact Bombs’ that I perform, originally part of the set Tim Scarborough and I presented at Mouth & Music for the ‘Body Hair’ theme. It is far more fun to perform it with Tim and use the fake moustaches etc. but as I researched and wrote it I have been known to perform it solo.
Anyway – I hadn’t performed it for about 4 months, but found I had it on my phone so as a thank you I performed it and then embarrassingly remembered I performed it last year for the WLF SPeakEasy special (back when I still had print outs of all the moustaches)!
I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and all the open mic-ers were fabulous as well, people keep telling me my performance is getting stronger – I think that goes for everyone in Worcester! (Something in the water?!)
The full list of performers (including open mic)
Headlined by Brenda Read-Brown
Then the headline – Brenda Read-Brown, was delightful – a perfect mix of humour and touching sensitive poetry. I have always loved watching her perform since the 1st time I came across her in Birmingham (Literature Festival) October 2013, at the beginning of my Poetry Odyssey.
A smashing night. Spoz made up unique rhymes for all the open mic slots to introduce them and filled Fergus McGonigal’s MC shoes right up, creating extra energy in an event which was already ‘on fire’!
Photo Credit WLF Team © 2015