Monday, October 16, 2017

Elvis in the building & Frome's multicultural faces

Major event for me personally this week was Elvis McGonagall at the Granary on Friday, pitched to Frome as a kind of Poetry-Cafe-special-outing and pushed to Bristol and Bath too since they're  more familiar with big names in performance poetry. I knew if people came they'd love him: they did, lots of them, filling the Granary bar (big thanks to bewildered barman Sam for keeping smiling & serving even though we drank you out of draft) with many standing (only about 50 stools and chairs rustle-uppable). Frome Poetry Cafe posse opened to a warm reception and Elvis took us to sizzling at imagination-warp factor fifteen.. We all had personal favourites ~ the irasible barman,  Trump's haircut, the UK Government Care Policy, the Immigration Alphabet ~ but the whole was even bigger than the parts.*
In short, a fantastic event and an unforgettable evening. No publicity pix, but here's a snap of Elvis and also the brilliant Liv Torc.

In other news: the Celtic collective had a session at the Lamb and Fountain on Thursday ~ the first time I've actually visited this friendly time-warp pub ~ and brilliant cover-band Purple Fish returned to rock the Cornerhouse on Saturday.

Multicultural Frome at the Cheese & Grain on Sunday, 'a family festival of music, dance, crafts, food and a celebration of our international community', must have even exceeded its own expectations ~ it could not have been more successful. Hosted by Young People Frome, initiated & oraganised by Azeema Caffoor & Lenka Grimes with contributions from groups, schools, families and individuals, this was an afternoon of delights: a mix of entertainment and entertainingly-packaged information in a party atmosphere with international tasty samples, many free. Special feature was the energy and enthusiasm of the young contributors, from performances on stage to general participation. Entertained by music, song, dance, and recitations from across the world, hundreds of local people explored tables of foodstuffs, specialities, rituals and treasures, interactive games and activities... general verdict: let's do it again, next year and every year.
Somerset Scratch at the Archangel on Sunday evening, organised by Sian Williams of Boiling Kettle Company, gave the opportunity to five local writers to present extracts from their plays in progress and invite positive critique. All themes ~ a benefit office row, a refugee,  compulsory purchase, life-regression therapy and a secret love child ~ had potential and hearing their words read by professional actors like Sally Sanders is gold-dust to any writer. Congratulations, all.

* I'm aware I haven't done much of a review of Elvis, because a big percent of the show is delivery. But the words are great too, especially the political ones, & they're free to read here.  I recommend particularly That Government Healthcare Policy In Full and The Queen's Speech. smiley face!

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