Sunday, September 26, 2021

Community poetry & partying, with bonus paintings

Liv Torc's 'haiflu ever after' show came to the Merlin in Frome this week, magically converting this often-overlarge venue into both a cinema and a small, intimate, club with a lively atmosphere. That's what Liv can do; she is a word-witch and, with added live music from her partner Richard Monks, this experimental session of projected memories plus performance plus audience participation showed yet again that she is a simply brilliant entertainer. As well as reminding us of her 'haiflu' project, which monitored our communities' pulse of emotion as the plague progressed, Liv tracked her personal extreme health crisis, and even managed to create a massive community haiflu-stream of responses from the audience during the interval. 

Still with words: Episode 40 of Frome Writers Collective on radio is now available online, with my short talk about writing short stories 4 minutes into this link, followed by a cheeky review of Déjà Lu by Suzy Howlett @14.30 minutes.  I also had the delightful experience of reading one of my favourite of these tales, Deceiving Mr Pemberley, to the friendly & welcoming Active & In Touch group at the Cornerhouse on Tuesday morning - a delightfully attentive audience and good company too. 

Music now, and  Guggleton Farm - or The Gugg as it's more usually known, is a new venue to me, discovered just in time before the winter closure of this wonderful arts venue in Stalbridge, Dorset. Thursday evening's live music in the open-air barn provided a smorgasbord of delights, from young local acts like Oscar & Georgie (pictured R) to Frome headliners Unit 4 (above),  a newly-formed Frome band already gathering fans excited by their uncompromising funky style.
On a sadder note, this is the week we said a final farewell to one of Frome's major musical talents: PeeWee Ellis, legendary saxophonist and all-round charming man, left us forever.  This example of his style, brilliance and charm is from 2018 and was recorded Ronnie Scott's. 
Friday evening saw the preview of Whittox Gallery's new exhibition Into the Coloura shared showing of paintings by Jenny Morse & Susanna Lisle which will be on view until the end of October.  'Joyful' and 'playful' are terms which have been applied to these vibrantly coloured abstract images, and they certainly lift the spirits on a dull autumn day.  Jenny has used screen printing to create the colours she saw in a trip to Brazil and Susanna's paintings are inspired by gardens and by Islamic pattern. Results, for both artists, are strikingly gorgeous. 

This has been national Great Big Green Week, and Frome embraced the concept bigly with a splendid programme of events including walks, talks, films, activities and meetings - I managed to join the Frome Heritage Tree Walk led by Julian Hight - not, as avid readers of this blog may recall, my first excursion on this route: it is endlessly fascinating to remember this is the last remnant of Selwood forest, which was never a dense thicket but a meadow initially grazed by sheep then farmed for teasels for the wool trade, and the oldest trees here will have witnessed those times.  
Saturday evening's highlight in this menu of Green events was a live follow-up to the amazing We Feed the World art exhibition which featured in the summer festival: We Feed... Frome was created in Station Approach by stalls from local eco producers with music from fabulous Roscoe Shakes.  The combination of balmy evening, amazing food, and a popular local band ensured a fantastic street party.  


1 comment:

Ellie said...

You keep so busy! Thanks for keeping us in touch with local events!