Launched at the Waterloo Tea House in Roath last night…
Felt good to be a part of the night, hosted by the always inspiring Christina Thatcher. Feels good to be between these covers, with so many others!
Am writing this before going off to host Rhyme and Real Ale at the Mackintosh in Roath. En route I will be dropping into A Shot in The Dark to discuss and drop off posters for GUFFAWESOME which is a comedy night I am organising and will host for the Made In Roath Festival 2014
All this follows a weekend of performing at Cardiff Central Library for World Mental Health Day, running my first ever workshop, about how creative writing can help maintain good mental health at World Homeless Action Day
And now on to the Wales Millennium Centre
where somewhere near the bottom left of the above picture, braving the cold weather, passing traffic,
Delivered three hours of eclectic verse, spoken word performance and acapaella song from a host of Welsh and non-Welsh mouths in front of the Dylan Thomas Touring Writing Shed. This event, which included additional feature performances from Claire Potter, Ffion Wyn and Rufus Mufasa was part of two occasions at once:
Some pics, starting with the rare sight of me suited and booted for hosting duties and then a selection of shots from the day, From Dave Daggers, Fran Smith and Simon L Read. Full list of readers at the end
Ian Cross, Emma Syrup, Francesca Murphy, Becca Kellaway
Fritz O’Skennick on the mic
Simon L Read, Becca Kellaway, Ellen Duncan, Sophie Chei, Vincent Thomas, Fran Smith
Bridget Leggy Tanner
Gordon Anderson during a very funny spoof Commercial Presentation
Zaru from afar
Zaru unfazed by the wheeled traffic
Or the human kind
The actual running order was remixed to suit the needs of the day in the end, and there were sadly one or two unable to make it to read after all, but everybody who had any part in this day helped to make it the great success it turned out to be. If I had pics of all who read, they’d go here. Just know all of you who agreed to read under the Megaverse Presents name on the day, you have my thanks and I hope we can do more of these kind of things. Thanks also to the Feature Readers Claire Potter, Ffion Wyn and Rufus Mufasa.
Apologies to Vince Thomas, who exists, and no apologies to the typographical ghosts Vincent Garth and Brooks Thomas, who don’t 😉 and special thanks to Fran Smith for providing the portable PA that allowed the spoken word to be clearly heard!
My second attempt at The Lost Blog referred to in my last blog…
Whether new to wordsmithery or a more experienced hand (ooer) it is always a sweet feeling to be featured in a publication and many writers from Cardiff, Newport and other places (including Swindon) have felt the sweetness in the last couple of weeks…
September 8th, Rhyme and Real Ale. Julie Pritchard’s second Monday of every month free to all open mic night launched a first volume of diverse musings from the diverse minds diving through the doors of RARA during a first very successful year. Words to reach out to your heart and mind and every now and again, to tickle your funny bone.
This compact compendium of compositions was constructed for Julie and the rest of us nestling between the covers by the awesome Nick Lovell, Swindon based and therefore the RARA regular with the most miles on the clock! The above and below pics taken by Nick of his handiwork feature a front cover image by Bex Marriot and a back cover ‘optical illusion’ I came up with from two photos from previous RARA nights taken by Dave Daggers. Scroll to the end of this blog to see where to come to share your words and lend your ears!
The evening at RARA was kicked off by the launch of the second Anthology of work by members of the very welcoming Roath Writers group
(cover image by Simon L Read)
Hosted with smiles of humble pride by Roath Writers founder (and editor of the anthology) Christina Thatcher, the first half of the RARA night featured confident readings from some but not all those listed below
After the hosting mic was handed back to Julie for the second section of the night many (but not all, sadly) RARA anthology contributors shared their words
And there was still time to squeeze in some open mic performances on a night when the already popular event heard from many readers for the first time. More please!
Speaking of more…
In this blog I linked to my contribution to the Letter to an Unknown Soldier project that attracted over twenty thousand contributions. A lovely email from the project folk told me that around 150 of the letters are going to be published as a book in November by a historical imprint of Harper Collins! The typos in my original online submission will not feature in the book 🙂
During the Bristol Poetry Festival I will be among many others reading some words at The Hydrazine Launch. The event will take place from 7pm at the Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market Street, Bristol, September 29th. The Hydrazine is published by Hesterglock Press and features work by readers at Matt Duggan’s regular event An Evening of Spoken Indulgence, including one by me. There will also be some poetic films, including one I directed for DOJO that just about qualifies, if we can sort out the file in time…
MEGAVERSE was the name I came up with for the spoken word event I curated for the 2014 HUB festival in Cardiff. Overwhelmingly a music based festival it might have been but performers including some from Roath Writers and Rhyme and Real Ale and readers from as far afield as Laugharne and Camarthen brought a multitude of perspectives on the world and life, giving poetry sparky and spunky attitudes many people would never expect and others would call ‘not poetry’ but stuff the stuffy, it was a spoken form long before books were invented and the tradition lives on!
Before I mention the next MEGAVERSE related event I must thank Mab Jones for suggesting me as organiser/host for spoken word to Owen Bowley, organiser of HUB. She was asked if she would take on the task, but she was unable to due to being in Edinburgh with her poetic partner Johnny Giles doing (I think) 35 shows in total, including supporting Phil Jupitus (in his guise as Porky the Poet). She was also promoting her then forthcoming and now published book…see promo details below
MEGAVERSE will be back at the
Running from 11-14 October 2014, this festival will be helping to promote various kinds of artistic expression, including poetry and spoken word from the over thirty readers name checked here ! We will be performing at the Cardiff Millennium Centre where you will find us by the Dylan Thomas Travelling Writing Shed during the day of Sunday October 12th 2014. Megaverse alone will be providing two 90 minutes slots of local and not so local poets and spoken word performers!
First Slot 12.15-1.45
Second slot 2.30-4.00
With additional feature performers (including Rufus Mufasa and Ffion Wyn) delivering their words between and after the Megaverse slots, much to hear, and
I’ll thank Mab again, because organising and hosting the first Megaverse led to me being asked to organise and host some Megaverse Poetry Sessions for this festival. And the momentum has also led to me being asked to organise and host a comedy event for
This annual and growing Cardiff Arts Festival will feature practically any art form you can name, including stand up comedy in the form of GUFFAWESOME at A Shot in the Dark in Roath Saturday 7.30-10.30pm, Saturday October 18th. There will be stand up comedians from Cardiff and Bridgend (and elsewhere). The evening will include an open mic section for anyone who wants to make others laugh with stand up, verse, or song and try to anger the featured performers by being funnier than them 😉 Still in the planning stages right now, but I will be hosting and throwing some comic verse at you during the night. more details coming soon…
That’s still not all, folks…
September 24th at the North Star Restaurant/Bar Making Minds, Giving Voices will be presenting their second evening of verse and song and more, exploring mental health related issues. Sounds like serious stuff but there will be fun among the provocation of thought. I will be opening the open mic section (after having been a featured reader at the first one of these events on September 6th) and the featured readers for the 24th will include Sophie Chei. But why am I telling you that when you can click the links and find out for yourself, eh? 😉 (Update, one of the feature performers had to cancel, so I was drafted in and in addition to serious minded pieces, opted to get shouty a little on the night in the quite talky pub, so included 73.836776% Bullshit and The Booty Song)
Almost finally, National Theatre Wales Team Word4Word will be heading for Pontypridd, Saturday October 4th at the social club just minutes from the train station. Patrick Jones is the headline poet and I will be among those competing for two prizes, one to be decided by NTW TEAM, the other to be voted for by the audience. So if you are nearby, why not come? 7-ish pm is what is in my mind but will be more precise on a day when I haven’t been doing a long blog for the second time and my mind is less mashed. Meanwhile here is a link to some photos from the previous Word4Word that took place at the Porters bar in Cardiff.
Finally, here are some more photos…
(above pic by Bridget Leggy Tanner)
(below pic by some poor soul minding their own business in Cardiff pub The George suddenly being asked to take a pic, on the night of the delivery of the Anthology to Roath Writers by Christina Thatcher, one week before the RARA night readings).
Where’s Will(y)? Reverse photobomber, right there at the back 😉
and for more pics of the night click here featuring among others
Bridget Tanner, Julie Pritchard and Bel Blue, of the regular Rhyme and Real Ale Event in Cardiff (Click 4 details of next RARA, June 9th)
Busy, busy, busy!
To follow up my previous blog https://willdeanford.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/silly-kings-dress-rehearsal-at-cardiff-castle/ the temperature inside the spiegeltent was fine. Outside, the torrential rain and howling wind assailed the structure, part of which looked like this from the inside
And the rain hammered away ferociously on the tent but there was no stopping the silly and spectacular show going on, with a joyously enthusiastic multi-tasking cast, each playing various parts, singing, dancing, rapping, and storytelling their way through a madcap array of tales woven around a semi-traditional framing device about a Princess and Prince who wanted to marry for love (semi traditional because in this little world, the little girl defeats the monster under her bed without help and the Fairies ruled by their mean King in one segment form a Union to defeat him and Llamas dance their tails off).
Fun and silliness and strangeness throughout, enjoyed loads by the audience, see here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.251547651670226.1073741830.127387044086288&type=1
Anyway, the dress rehearsal fought the weather and defeated it and the audience, including me, had to battle the elements too en route to Cardiff Castle but ultimately, the stormy night was easily vanquished by the fun to be had. Tonight the run proper begins. Go get some silly 🙂