Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Awesome evening at Frome Poetry Cafe on Monday for the Valentine special: Jon dashed in repeatedly with extra chairs as more and more poets piled into the Garden Café but we were still standing room only by the time Muriel Lavender led off in her inimitable rococo style. Three of the Bluegate poets from Swindon followed, then Carrie Etter from Bristol, then Stephen Boyce from Winchester... honestly the evening was beginning to sound like a roll-call for best in the southwest, all stunning stuff too. Add to this twelve more great local voices, including brilliant Liv Torc and Rosie Jackson back from India, and the evening was a stonking success. The random valentine prize of Chinese Erotic Poetry donated by Hunting Raven Books went to newly-Frome-dwelling Robbie Vine who noted there hadn't been much cynicism and helpfully remedied the deficit.
The Poetry Cafe will be back on April 11th but Frome Poetry Posse are strutting their stuff at the Folk Festival on Sunday from 5.45 till 6.30 at the Westway Cinema venue.

When you're out of the school loop, which I've been roughly since William Smith said 'I wonder what to do with my enormous collection of fossils, I think I'll invent geology', half-term holidays are events that leap on you like Tigger in the forest and similarly noisy. Bristol Old Vic with canny recognition of the need for parental respite, organised a week of HALF TERM HAVOC! offering 'noise, mess and chaos' as well as a couple of shows. Stan, aged 4, was my discerning companion at Stones & Bones by Squashbox Theatre, an hour of havoc coordinated by ebullient entertainer Craig Johnson who combines storytelling, puppetry, magic, music and mayhem with quite a bit of keystage 2 content. An excitable young audience shrieked happily through the geological data, which though interesting failed to grip them as much as the monster-sightings (sometimes I think I have the mentality of a 6-year-old). Craig met all the heckling with a few stern words but immense good humour, probably because he knew his vengeance would come in the volcano-dousing sequence, when he could run wild with the water pistol. Stan enjoyed it all immensely, especially the bit when the dinosaur-puppet attacks Craig repeatedly, Emu-style, with a carrot. My favourite bit too, maybe I need to adjust my mental age downwards by a couple of years...

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