Monday, September 26, 2016

The carnival is over, it must be autumn

There was much to celebrate on Saturday but as this is an arts blog I'll keep all that for facebook and just tell you, if you weren't there, that the annual Frome Carnival was as glittery and quirky as ever, and the streets were thronged to watch the colourful paraders prance, dance, cartwheel or totter down the hill and through the town centre.   In typical egalitarian style, the mayor & his lady chose to walk with the collectors rather than wave regally from a posh car.
This lively event was a great finale to week with arts in the spotlight, as Frome Town Council concluded a series of meetings to define the priorities for a 'performing arts' policy. Consultations with venues, performers, promoters, and potential audiences all culminated in this week's round-up, led by deputy mayor Al O'Kane who instigated the initiative, and a six-point practical summary for enhanced renaissance will go forward to the council.

Meanwhile the Roots Grain Bar sessions continue to give the best value evening entertainment for a hat donation you'll ever find on a Wednesday, this week featuring superb song-writer and performer Phil Cooper with his band.

And for spoken word fans this week there was Story Friday, the popular bimonthly event presented by A Word In Your Ear at Burdall's Yard in Bath. This session's theme of Outsiders particular interests me so I was delighted my story was one of the seven chosen. The standard is awesome and it was a genuine privilege to be in a line-up with Clare Reddaway and other superb writers - look out for Conor Houghton if you enjoy droll fast-moving Irish humour, a new star who may well go supernova soon. Stories now all on audio - listen here!
So now autumn has officially begun ~ it arrived astronomically on September 21st, also allegedly International Peace Day (don't get me started) ~ here's a couple of events to look forward to: Frome Poetry Cafe on October 4th has Hannah Teasdale as guest poet, and local writer Rosie Jackson will be launching her memoir The Glass Mother at the Merlin on November 4th.  Nevertheless Fringe Theatre isn't planning another production this year as Rosie & I are both involved in other projects, but there are exciting new theatre initiatives around as well as to the Merlin's eclectic autumn programme. Marc Cox is starting a script-in-hand writers group at the Atheneum in Warminster, and Simon's Blakeman's impro group now meets each Tuesday upstairs at the Cornerhouse. And for film fans, the good news is that new owners will reopen the Westway as an independent cinema again. And there's still one more week of Somerset Art's 'open studios' ~ venue list here

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