The Merlin One Act Play competition closed at the end of February, leaving us just three weeks for the tough task of deciding a shortlist from 55 submissions, and for director Claudia to pick five finalists and organise rehearsed readings of their winning plays. First read-through went really well: actors from Frome Drama Club animatedly discussing the plays, acknowledging 'great writing, great dialogue' and disagreeing over their favourites. Which is exactly what I hope will happen among the audience when the winners are staged. All seats free, 7.45 on Thursday 24th, so do come along if you can.
From drama to poetry: Bristol poet Tom Phillips was guesting at Poetry & a Pint in St James Wine Vaults on Monday. Tom is an editor at Venue, our local version of London's Time Out, recently threatened with closure and then last week dramatically 'saved'. Future issues will be Venue, Spock, but not as we know it. Our much-loved anarchic & informative weekly will amalgamate with a 'lifestyle' magazine and mutate into a monthly freebie. Tom referred to this trauma only once and obliquely, in his excellent set, when he introduced his poem Pyrrhic Victory: "The writer of this is on his knees before the emperor - I think it's about my present employment situation."
And a couple of previews:
Frome's April Follies Poetry Café on Wednesday 6th features brilliant burlesque poet Muriel Lavender, whose wicked wit and sensational attire are raising eyebrows and spirits across the southwest.
Looking further ahead, Westbury Festival is introducing poetry events this year -organisers Maggie and Helen visited Frome for ideas how.
Finally: Being Human has reached its last gory episode and Monday mornings won't be the same. (I'm generally out when it's screened so watch on Demand at first possible opportunity.) Facebook is crawling with mournings for Mitchell, the vampire who ironically managed to be human after all when he found self-loathing, surely the sole ability distinguishing us from other animals. Can the next series survive without its key players - or did Herrick lie when he said there was no way back... "He was flawed, he was adored, with him we were never bored": John Mitchell, here are your best bits.