RARA RETURNS TUESDAY 14.08.18 FREE 5 MINUTE SPOKEN WORD SLOTS

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Tuesday, Aug 14 2018, come and hear and share spoken word at our laid back open mic event. The event is free, performance slots are free, the booze is not free, but if you are free, come and express yourself freely and set your words free…at RARA, this coming Tuesday and the second Tuesday of every month!
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Whether you have never shared your words before or are an experienced performer you are warmly invited to join and experience the welcome, the attention, the encouragement and the appreciation of RARA. Every RARA is a different experience, semi-regularly hosted by guest hosts from RARA regulars who after being warmly received often end up wondering what it might be like to act as compere, and we say, if you want to find out, give it a try and we will be there with you to offer all the support, advice and encouragement you need!

Come! Join us! Join in!

The kind management of the Mackintosh Sports Club, Roath, Cardiff generously allow us this monthly platform so that writers from Cardiff and beyond can showcase anything they wish as long as it is made of words! Come, be moved, be amused, be surprised! Come, move, amuse or surprise others!

Dave Daggers           &            Will Ford

 Between them, Dave and Will keep RARA running and the door open to all, whether they are new to spoken word, or wish to use a five minute slot to try out new work for their sets or just simply engage with an audience who are ready to listen. Both Dave and Will like to experiment with different forms of creativity and are very serious about what they do, even if what they do is not always about being serious. Freedom to be either serious or silly and for both to be equally welcomed is at the heart of RARA, where what YOU want to say, however you wish to say it, is the most important thing.

So come along, to RARA, beloved by many, including by lots of the folk you will see on the promo pic at the end of these words for MEGAVERSE at Cardiff Hub Festival 2018. COME TO RARA! Enter the world of Spoken Word! Speak! Listen! Enjoy!

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Festivals are tough, and some got tough enough for them, at RARA!!!!

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FREE OPEN MIC….R.A.R.A RETURNS MONDAY 11/07/16

The second Monday of the month is here, meaning it’s time for…

JULY R.A.R.A

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Meet Your Hosts for June…

Paula Hughes

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Regularly bringing songs and comic interludes to nights like R.A.R.A, Paula has an enthusiasm that is totally contagious, a smile that is never far away, and a camera that is responsible for the highlights from the June R.A.R.A you will find if you scroll further down…Now, for the other July Host:

Gareth Davies

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A storyteller, performer, maker of mirth and general non-bad egg, Gareth will bring the authority of his previous experience as an English teacher to his host duties, so pay attention…are you listening at the back?

Paula and Gareth will guide us all through another evening of wide ranging styles of verse and performance, some will make you smile, some will make you think, all will make you feel…Free to enter, free to have a five minute slot…

Come and watch and be our audience, come and share your words/songs/comic stylings, by simply adding your name to the list, regulars warmly welcomed back and new voices actively encouraged, many people have read in front of an audience for the first time ever at R.A.R.A and we have seen them bloom from nervous first step makers to confident risk takers over and over again, so July 11th 2016, Mackintosh Sports Club, Keppoch Street, Roath, Cardiff, from 7.30 pm come one, come all, COME!

JUNE R.A.R.A…Hosted by Francesca Murphy and Will Ford…

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FRILL (Fran and Will) brought their individual styles of comic and heartfelt verse and song to the proceedings and  introduced performers with these names…

Dave Daggers…Gordon Anderson…Kat Davies…Bryan Marshall…Rachel Noelle…Patrick Widdess…Elizabeth Jane Williams…Gareth Davies…John Brooks…Liz Farrell…Bridget Leggy Tanner…Charley Rogers…Anna Shaw…Fritz O’Skennick…Ben Meadon…Rachel Carney…Fran Smith…Richie Livingood…Gruff Russell Jones

Thanks to the camera of July co-host Paula Hughes, here are their faces…

R.A.R.A  is brought to you by Dave Daggers (assisted by Will Ford), and is powered by the sun, the moon, the stars, the words of the performers and held together almost entirely by the vast number of friendly insults Dave can throw at Will on stage, in person and via all available electronic and non-electronic media, including during this Headstand Podcast in which Dave is interviewed by Patrick Widdess

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RHYME, TREASON, SINGING, RATHER PLEASING

The evening of Thursday September 24th 2015 at the Andrew Buchan pub, Roath, Cardiff looked a little something like this pic taken by the organiser and host…

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Lots to enjoy at Rhyme and Treason, organised and hosted by Dave Daggers, featuring perfomances by Dave, Will Ford (me!), Christina Thatcher, Special Guest author and comic gentleman Mark Blayney and Special Musical Guest Bel Blue (accompanied by Andy Constable). Sadly, a much anticipated contribution by the brill Karen Sherrard was not to be, due to a pesky back related situation, but keep your eyes open for her, and catch her if you can, because she is a rather funny lady, in all the best ways that could be meant!

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A pictorial record of the Rhyme and Treason, courtesy of the keen eyed camera of Paula Hughes will now begin (ending with ‘a slightly alternative reaction to Rhyme and Treason starring a dog’)

Dave Daggers, serenading the ears and funny bones with French Love Songs and Cannibals On Cannabis

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Dave, Poetry For Dummies on the music stand, shooting out a verse about a trip to the Moon and The Best Poem Ever Written…

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Dave, reflected in the ceiling mirror…

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Having got the night of to a warm and funny start, Mr Daggers introduced Will Ford…

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Offering mostly silly verse, featuring the love-bot T.O.B.E.V.O.L, Batman doing open mic poetry, five little piggies and including a more seriously tinged verse on the subject of depression, Snowflakes From Your Eyes…For the sake of voice protection, the Christian Bale style Bat-Voice was shouty-growled at the audience at the end of the set…

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Will on the ceiling…Two heads are better than one, add both together for the amount of hair he used to have…

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After the first break, Dave called up Christina Thatcher, who as always, brought dignity and authority to her delivery of very personal work about her love for her husband to be, which followed equally personal work about the loss of her father from a collection of poems about that experience and more…

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Ever enthusiastic about one thing above all others in her work and teaching, Christina embodies the idea of the transformative power of writing about experiences and feelings which would otherwise get stored up inside and do nothing but hurt us…

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Spell check just tried to tell me ‘transformative’ is not actually a word. But it is the best non-word to use for the ethos Christina both espouses and practices…And since it has become a motif for this blog: Christina, reflected in the Andrew Buchan ceiling mirror…

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Next up came a very welcome special guest…As well as being a truly gifted comic performer, Mark Blayney is an award-winning author, whose new collection Doppelgangers can be found (and bought if you wish) if you click on this link to his website

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Mark raised the profanity bar comedically high as he addressed the audience as though everyone present was part of the mythical group he was standing before, a gathering of the members of the society for saying the first thing that comes into your head, with Prince Philip as the patron of the unfiltered, unguarded remark (who else could it be? And who will the society find to succeed him, given his age and proximity to the grave?)

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Mark, reflected by the ceiling mirror as he portrayed a character certainly not taking the time to reflect before speaking…

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After the second break, the last act of the evening came in the soulful-folk form of Bel Blue and her percussionist, husband, surfer and creator of BongaBoard, Andy Constable…

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Whether playing solo, with Andy, or additional musicians, Bel’s songs encapsulate both frailty and strength and this thirty minute set certainly had heart…

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It also had a Wild Dog Rose, a River of Dreams and more…

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2016 will see the release of an E.P of songs from Bel Blue…

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And you can find out more about Bel here

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After an emotional set, Dave Daggers demands an encore, and joins in on ukulele for a harder, rockier closing song that revealed the steel under the soul of the music offered by Bel and Andy..

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Cue much applause and warm thanks offered by Dave for all who came to share their work and the audience who came to listen and watch and enjoy…

But…

Not everyone loves poetry, and here is the view of the occasion from our canine correspondent…a silly experiment in caption writing by the bloke behind this blog…Hey, dog, do you like poetry!!!

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Did someone say ‘poetry’?
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Save me from poetry, Mummy

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Poetry…AAAAAAHHH!!!
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Will there be walkies in Heaven? Poetry, you killed me…

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Thank you Paula Hughes for the pics and these smiles from you and Christina!

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Cheers Dave Daggers, for Rhyme And Treason!

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Busy and Breathless Times continue…take 2

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 😉

 

Yet Another Busy Bleary Eyed Blog…

Bit bleary eyed after bringing spoken word/comic verse/rap parody type stuff to The Coach, a Bridgend pub with an open mic night, last Thursday of each month. Since it was mostly music I think people were a bit bemused at first but then they got into it, joining in with the Amen! part of Priestly Boys and the chorus of The Booty Song.

Yesterday morning, barely awake, got a text from Mab Jones asking if I would join her to go on Radio Cardiff to talk of performance poetry and spoken word, in general terms and in terms of upcoming events.Here’s a photo from the studio, featuring a big smile from Mab and me at my most alert…

My first time on the radio ever, recited some rhymes as did Mab and we talked of performance poetry and upcoming events as well as Mab plugging the Letter to an Unknown Soldier project. I had intended to submit a letter anyway, but have to make sure I do after saying I will during this hour that gave me a small amount of respect for presenters (keeping talking to avoid dead air is harder than it seems and I don’t claim to have knocked it out of the park)

And now, a list of upcoming events:

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August 11th from about 7.30pm RHYME AND REAL ALE Julie Pritchard’s come one, come all, no favouritism free open mic event at The Mackintosh Sports Club, Keppoch Street Cardiff reaches it’s first anniversary. An anthology of RARA poets work will be launched and will be for sale. First priority for proceeds is for RARA to have it’s own PA equipment to ease the pressure on poor Dave Daggers (who doesn’t know at this point the booklet has a  cover image, by me using two photos Dave took at diffrerent RARA nights. The other cover image was supplied by Bex Marriott. RARA is held second Monday of every month

August 14th WORD4WORD a National Theatre Wales TEAM event of verse and spoken word hosted by Frank Thomas. Not open mic but much variety of wordiness will be on show, including mine. Prizes are up for grabs for the performers, one to be decided by the organisers, the other, the audience prize, well come and vote for whoever best floats your boat!

August 23-25 HUB FESTIVAL An annual fixture in Cardiiff, featuring a shedload of thingsto see and b at, including MEGAVERSE,a spoken word event I am curating and hosting and currently putting together a performer list for. August 24, Cardiff Fashion Quarter 6-8pm, be there or be elsewhere!

August 29th last Friday of the Month means another Evening of Spoken Indulgence at the Hydra Bookshop in Bristol. Host Matt Duggan presents a variety of literary and literally spoken word. Then Sept 19th during the Bristol Poetry Festival a special event at the Hydra will see the launch of HYDRAZINE, an anthology of material by those who have read at Matt’s events, including some words from me

September 8th at RHYME and REAL ALE the Roath Writers group will be launching their second anthology of work by group members, edited by Cardiff writing mover and shaker Christina Thatcher, who will be first half guest host at RARA to give regular RARA ears and any other that come along a treat. Christina will introduce contributors to the Roath Writers group anthology, who will share their words, and I and you can then buy the anthology 🙂 Then Julie Pritchard will host the second half to complete the evening with a variety of styles of open mic performance.

Now I have to rush off to a voluntary work meeting. Laters, taters!