AFTER INTERNATIONAL DYLAN THOMAS DAY…Looking back at MEGAVERSE@CARDIFF CENTRAL LIBRARY HUB

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With  many thanks offered to International Dylan Thomas Day Coordinator Mab Jones and Literature Wales, I shall now begin to attempt to convey the many flavours of this event…

A video summary 

Links to vids of performances throughout this blog…see below

Performance sketches created during the event by Penarth based fine artist Pauline Williams…Event filming by Fritz O’Skennick…Photographs by Dave Daggers…Slideshow of International Dylan Day Promo images and images from previous MEGAVERSE events compiled by Will Ford and and produced by Terri Hoskings…All round superlative logistical support from Gordon Anderson and colleagues at Cardiff Central Library HUB. The Welsh and English posters advertising the Megaverse event at Cardiff Central Library by Gordon Anderson

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For the first time since beginning to organise MEGAVERSE events I asked an ‘entry fee’ of contributors, in the form of ‘a piece of writing inspired in some way by Dylan Thomas, his work, his life, his themes, his spirit, poetic forms or whatever this challenge moves you to write’. As ever I was humbled by the enthusiasm of colleagues from the local (and not so local) spoken word scene, and  what they and I wrote and performed for this event can be viewed via links in the body of this blog.

An open mic section was included in this Megaverse, to allow for anyone inspired by the event to share their words and in hope that some work created in the same space earlier the same day at the Dylan Thomas Cut Up Workshop could be shared at Megaverse. Some was!

As the planning  developed, A feature performance by Aneirin Karadog became part of the event as did Dylan’s Great Poem  (initially to be delivered by Aneirin, but ultimately performed by clare e potter and Rufus Mufasa, who judged the Literature Wales competition calling for contributions to the collaborative project and compiled the eventual poem from submissions that came from all over the world).

This Megaverse was divided into four sections over the course of two very packed hours in the Creative Suite on Level 5 of Cardiff Central Library…

3.00-3.30pm…

Will Ford welcomes everyone…

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To set the tone, I read an extract from ‘Laugharne’ by Dylan Thomas, recorded a few short weeks before his sad passing, which revealed him not as sad, but as alternately intensely poetic and humorous as his legend and work has portrayed him through the ages. My goal was to  create the expectation of mainly, but not exclusively, reverent readings. Then it was time to talk less, host more and finally get things truly rolling, with…

Aneirin Karadog

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Reading and rapping mostly in Welsh, Aneirin did not speak softly but definitely, literally, during his performance, carried a big stick, using it to thud out a rhythm on the library floor to underpin his raps, from the hip hop production Dylan Live. During this extended feature set he also shared work newly written for the event.

Aneirin Karadog, by  Pauline Williams

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clare e potter & Rufus Mufasa

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With humility and performance skills in equal measure clare and Rufus traded (and chorused) bilingual lines from the third Dylan’s Great Poem created to honour the poetic icon of the day. In their roles as judges for the competition to contribute to the poem and editors of the eventual work they said they had hard choices to make about what to keep in or leave out of the poem, but the result of the process was performed joyously and can be read here

Rufus Mufasa and clare e potter by Pauline Williams

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3.30-4pm

A section of short sets, with each performer including at least one Dylan Thomas inspired piece in their three minute slot. A challenge for all to rise to, including Pauline Williams, seeking to capture likenesses in double quick time…

Mark Curtis

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Mark is no stranger to raging against the dying of the light in his self and life exploring writing, but his Dylan inspired piece was lighter fare, his lines bringing together Dylan Thomas and the Frankie Goes To Hollywood song Rage Hard!

Dave Daggers

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No stranger to irreverence, the life affirming energy that Dave Daggers brings to all he does was brought to The Ballad of Bob Thomas, his tale of a forgotten folk singer who chose the wrong part of the Dylan Thomas name to take as his own…

Gareth Davies

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Sometimes to be found in Prague, sometimes to be found studying creative writing, storyteller Gareth Davies spins a brief tale of a narrator who finds himself fawned over in New York by an avid Dylan Thomas fan who is impressed to have met someone from Wales with the name Thomas Dylan. The peril that develops as a result of the narrator amusing himself by lying about his name is only of the mildest nature, but all the same, sometimes having a private joke at someone else’s expense is all it takes for fate to decide a comeuppance is due to someone experiencing New York Insomnia

Watch the performances by Mark Curtis, Dave Daggers and Gareth Davies

Neil Davies

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Known for the speed at which he can dash off a ditty, and indeed the speed at which he can deliver one, Neil’s Dylan related pieces included Dylan’s Inspiration, an at first sad, then sweet little verse about how his family (according to this rhyme at least) is tied up with Dylan’s creative routine, via mints made by Neil’s Grampa that Dylan sucked on to help him write.

John Eliot

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Author of  poetry collection Ssh! John Eliot was inspired by Dylan Thomas using the villanelle form and applied himself to crafting a villanelle of his own, St Augustine Grass. He followed this with a touching piece on the impermanence of this plane of existence, as experienced by Snowmen

Terri Hoskings

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Photographic artist and recent Creative Writing Degree graduate Terri Hoskings delights in losing herself in all forms of creative expression, her own and that of others,  from all eras, and here she re-imagines her own family history into Beyond Milkwood, a Dylanesque mash up of poetry and harsh realities, hard people in hard times, surviving whatever the drudgery of domesticity and the indiscriminate discrimination of political ideology can throw at them.

Will Macmillan Jones

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Since Will experienced car trouble that kept him in Swansea, I stepped in to read his Dylan inspired pieces on his behalf. The author of a series of comic fantasy books in the Terry Pratchett vein (The Banned Underground series) on this occasion left the punning and sarcasm behind and drove directly for poetic laments Darkened Doors, Out Across the Bay and I Dream of your Teeth in the Night. The picture of Will seen above was from a previous Megaverse and was part of the slideshow for International Dylan Thomas Day Megaverse, so while not physically present, Will’s words and face made it along!

Watch the performances by Neil Davies, John Eliot, Terri Hoskings and the words of Will Macmillan Jones (read by Will Ford)

Faces from the first hour of Megaverse by Pauline Williams

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Dylan Thomas by Pauline Williams

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Positioned to the right of the projection screen at International Dylan Thomas Day Megaverse, Pauline’s Dylan Kept a watchful eye on what was transpiring in his name, and the eagle eyed may spot the picture among the images included here…

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4.00-4.30pm

THE OPEN MIC SECTION

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Elaine Paton

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Elaine Paton was Artistic director for Moment(o)s Of Leaving, a recent site specific promenade theatre piece with interactive elements exploring issues of mental health and the feelings associated with the impending closure of Whitchurch Hospital. She attended the Dylan Thomas Cut Up Workshop held in the Creative Suite prior to Megaverse and was happy to share her results from the process with us all.

Rachel Carney

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Rachel also attended the Dylan Thomas Cut Up Workshop and was  apologetic about reading a piece comprised of elements of two Dylan Thomas poems. But the experimental nature of the workshop was designed precisely to explore the results of combining different elements of Dylan Thomas and Rachel rather skilfully ‘remixed’ Dylan!

Mario Umberto Fiorillo

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A regular face on the Cardiff open mic scene, Mario brought the event his signature style of imagery heavy, slightly surreal musings…

Fritz O’Skennick

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Spoken word performer and film maker Fritz O’Skennick delivered a piece on Welshness which, although written in English, used a traditional Welsh poetic structure! A busy day at the event for Fritz, also present in his capacity as occasional recorder  of poetry events.

Watch the  performances by Elaine Paton, Rachel Carney, Mario Umberto Fiorillo and Fritz O’skennick, which follow a cheeky Dylan Thomas/Batman crossover by host Will Ford

Neil Davies by Pauline Williams

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Neil, having already delivered Dylan related material earlier on, signed up for the open mic section and read several poems from Defeating Cyril, his poetry booklet response to Parkinson’s Disease, blunting its sting by giving it the innocuous name Cyril and writing to and about it. The living embodiment of not going gentle…

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4.30-5.00pm

A second section of short sets, with each performer including at least one Dylan Thomas inspired piece in their three minute slot.

Des Mannay

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Performing under his self selected banner of ‘Hooligan Poet’ Des Mannay performed several pieces, including the Dylan Thomas influenced A Child’s Purgatory In Wales. Pre-existing, rather than being newly written for the day, it totally fit the bill!

Des Mannay by Pauline Williams

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Bryan Marshall

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Equally sweet and full of fire, Bryan delighted listeners as he always does!

Watch performances by Neil Davies, Des Mannay and Bryan Marshall

Francesca Murphy

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Talented poet/singer/songwriter Fran Murphy fully embraced the celebratory nature of the day with a piece that was tinged with lament for the feelings of loss that affect us all, but in no way impinge on the poetic desire to capture beauty, to leave something of a Legacy

Clive Oseman

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Clive’s dedication to poetry and performing it is amply demonstrated by the distances he travel travels across the UK to take part in events. Living in (but not from) Swindon, he has on a number of occasions made the trip to Cardiff for open mic nights and  Megaverses. With his piece Dylan, he humorously reflects on how Bob, rather than the inspiration for Bob’s name was the Dylan his younger self considered worth favouring, and how he has come to feel differently since then. Cheers, Clive for your long distance travelling contributions to events like this!

Francesca Murphy, Bryan Marshall and Clive Oseman, by Pauline Williams

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Fran Smith

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In her poetic guise as Philosophical Body Poet Fran Smith embodies her approach to her life and therapeutic work, conveying her view that striving to reach for the positive and for compassion , whatever life throws at us is the ideal to pursue, for our own health, mind, spirit and that of other humans and other animals. This perspective informs her take on the theme of raging against the dying of the light in her poem Hippocratic Oath. Seeking to ‘do no harm’ is certainly one way of seeking to fight the dying of the light as a lifelong goal for humanity itself, not just when our personal end is nigh!

Watch performances by Francesca Murphy, Clive Oseman and Fran Smith

Fran Smith By Pauline Williams

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Will Ford by Pauline Williams

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Having cheekily slipped my gravelly voiced ‘Batman at an open mic night’ comic verse Do Not Go Gently into that Dark Knight into the open mic section, I shared the poem I did actually write specifically for this event, The Shadow, a gothic-tinged piece loosely inspired by ‘Do Not Go Gentle…’ that treated the source with much more respect…and then, because she was not able to be there in person, I read out a poem by:

Bridget Leggy Tanner

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Bridget (pictured here at a previous MEGAVERSE) offered the event a short, gentle piece that breezily told Dylan’s life story beginning with him first awakening in Swansea and ending with ‘Now he sleeps in Laugharne’

Zaru

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With  a style traversing the crossover points between classic Beat poetry (itself influenced by Dylan Thomas) and the percussive patterns of rap, Zaru’s brew of pure heart, stream of consciousness, other worldly presence and  pitch perfect performance was a truly fine conclusion to International Dylan Thomas Day Megaverse, and his Celtic Braid was a howl from the silenced souls of the Welsh voices historically prevented from speaking in their mother tongue.

Watch Will Ford read his piece written for the day, Will reading the words of Bridget Leggy Tanner, and then the final performer at this Megaverse, Zaru, plus closing words by Will Ford and Gordon Anderson

Many thanks to everyone for a truly diverse selection of spoken word

For International Dylan Thomas Day

Thank you, Pauline Williams for your sketchbook Alchemy 

PAULINE SKETCHING

(contact the artist if interested in owning any of the images she created)

Cheers Fritz for doing the filming!

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And though he might wave them off humbly, many thanks to Gordon Anderson for logistical, technical, promotional and all other support offered and fully delivered in making the use of the venue and the event itself a truly smooth experience

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So, Literature Wales, Mab Jones, and everyone else deserving thanks for their efforts in making this event and others happen for International Dylan Thomas Day 2016…

THANK YOU! 

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Will Ford’s Website

What is MEGAVERSE?

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THE ADDAMS FAMILY MUSICAL:BEST SHOW AWARD FOR HILLTOP THEATRE COMPANY!!!

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CONGRATULATIONS TO  HILLTOP THEATRE COMPANY ON TAKING THE BEST SHOW PRIZE AT THE N.O.D.A (Wales and Ireland) AWARDS CEREMONY MAY 14TH 2016 

WHILE BEING NOMINATED FOR FIVE AWARDS WAS UNDOUBTEDLY EXCITING, IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE ONE OF THE FIVE TO TAKE HOME, BEST SHOW WOULD BE THE ONE THAT REWARDS EVERYBODY FOR THE PART THEY PLAYED IN MAKING THE SHOW HAPPEN…AND THAT’S THE AWARD YOU WON, SO WELL DONE EVERYBODY!!!

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A look back at the news of being nominated…

With productions such as Jekyll and Hyde, Sweeney Todd and Godspell under their belts, the hard working folk of  Hilltop took on the roles of these freaky folk

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Resulting in five N.O.D.A awards nominations, for Best Show, two nominations for Best Performance, one for Special Services to Amateur Theatre and one for Best Stage and Technical Presentation…

After a tryout in Chicago, the original production of The Addams Family Musical opened on Broadway in 2010. Popular the world over, and now popular during its run in the Cardiff area, thanks to Hilltop!

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The story for the show hinges on a regular feature of the older TV show comic strips and films, the creepy. kooky, mysterious and spooky world of the Addams Family coming into conflict with unsuspecting normal folk…

The day to day (ab)normality of life at the Addams Mansion is rudely interrupted when Wednesday Addams decides she to wants to marry normal everyday Lucas…Morticia and Gomez flirt and fight in their time honoured fashion over the developing shenanigans…Lurch groans in his servitude…Uncle Fester festers…Thing lends a hand…Little Pugsley is tortured by the situation (as well as being  literally tortured by his belovedly twisted sister)

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Many congrats are due, and many fingers are bound to be crossed for success during the N.O.D.A awards ceremony, many thanks guys, you must have worked really hard to pull this off! Colourful, hummable, memorable fun stuff.

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Take a bow!

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This blog has been brought to you by www.willdeanford.com

DYLAN’S GREAT POEM…WILL BE PERFORMED BY…clare e potter and Rufus Mufasa! 14.05.2016

Come to International Dylan Thomas Day MEGAVERSE @ Creative Suite, Level 5, Cardiff Cntral Library Hub to see and hear…

A first ever live reading of the third DYLAN’S GREAT POEM, created via this competition designed to inspire the imagination of poets between the ages of 7 and 25:

http://www.literaturewales.org/dylans-great-poem/

Competition Judges and DYLAN’s GREAT POEM editors claire e. potter and Rufus Mufasa will perform the poem that is the result of this process, which attracted entries from within Wales, the wider UK and from countries in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, making this work a truly international collaboration for International Dylan Thomas Day 2016!

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clare e. potter teaches creative writing at Cardiff University. She’s published poetry, prose and non-fiction. She works on collaborative community projects and Llwyn Celyn’s poet-in-residence.

Rufus Mufasa is a lyricist, performance art poet and hip hop educator, heavily influenced by Dylan Thomas’ beat poetry. Rufus is a fellow of Barbican London and an activist for community development and social justice through instilling passion for language and literature.

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DYLAN’S GREAT POEM will be performed immediately after a special extended feature set from former Bardd Plant Aneirin Karadog, who will be delivering a set featuring excerpts from hip hop production Dylan Live in Welsh and English and further pieces including something brand new, written just for this event celebrating International Dylan Thomas Day 2016

PLUS MEGAVERSE PRESENTS a parade of short sets from local (and not so local) spoken word performers featuring material inspired by Dylan’s life, work, poetic style and spirit.!

There will be an short open mic section during the event, opening up the floor for those wishing to share something inspired by International Dylan Thomas Day!

MEGAVERSE starts on the dot 0f 3pm, but if you can make it to Cardiff Central Library (Creative Suite, Level 5) by 12 Noon, maybe you might like to get creative at the…

DYLAN THOMAS CUT UP WORKSHOP 

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Click the above link for more info on this fun and creative workshop session which runs from 12pm to 2pm. And if you feel like sharing the results with an appreciative audience, see if you can sign up for the open mic segment during the Megaverse event that starts at 3pm!

You could create something AND share it during a spoken word event in the same building! On the same day! 

CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL DYLAN THOMAS DAY YOUR WAY, HOPEFULLY WITH US!

COME ONE, COME ALL!

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what is MEGAVERSE?

Why not check out my website?

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FREE OPEN MIC-R.A.R.A With ERIC NGALLE CHARLES! 09.05.2016

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R.A.R.A SPRING! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

MEET YOUR HOSTS

ERIC NGALLE CHARLES

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Before you come to RARA, why not tune in to RADIO CARDIFF Monday May 9th 2016 at 3pm where Eric will be discussing his docu-drama ASYLUM…Then, just hours later he’ll be behind the mic at R.A.R.A, introducing the readers and sharing words of his own on what will undoubtedly be another eclectic, far reaching night of humour and heart, as readers take a five minute slot to share their wit and wisdom, to make you smile, make you think, make you wonder, make you listen, make you feel!!!

Eric will be joined by his co-host, R.A.R.A leading light DAVE DAGGERS

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His playful exterior is there for all to see, but Dave not only wants to make you smile, his lust for life extends into a joy in seeing others do their best, improve, be all they can be and his enthusiasm is the human energy source behind the continuing success of R.A.R.A!

This time, I can’t go along myself, because I feel like crap as I type this, sweaty, snotty and aches in places you don’t even want to think about. While I like to share my words as often as possible and occasionally host the night, NOBODY would thank me for sharing my current state of flu style nonsense with them, the Latin for which is LURGIUS GIGANTICUS

OH LOOK! PICTURES FROM THE PREVIOUS R.A.R.A

HOSTED BY JULIE CROAD AND FRITZ O’SKENNICK!!!

THANKS TO JULIE CROAD AND FRITZ O’SKENNICK FOR YOUR GREAT HOSTING

THANKS TO ALL THE READERS

BRYAN MARSHALL

DAVID FOSTER MORGAN

JOHN BROOKS

RACHEL CARNEY

FRAN SMITH

LIZ BLACKBURN

THE WRITING REFLEX

DAVE DAGGERS

WILL FORD (TOOK THE PICS LAST MONTH TOO)

BELINDA FAVAGER

THE INCREDIBLE NIGEL

BEL BLUE

ELLIE POWELL

MARK CURTIS

SIMON L READ

BEN MEADON

WEE G

YAZ

KAREN

SECOND MONDAY…EVERY MONTH…

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More about the writer of this blog @ www.willdeanford.com