The first MEGAVERSE of 2016 took place in The Full Moon (Womanby Sreet, Cardiff), as part of the 2016 FREE FOR ALL festival. All photos by Paula Hughes. Sketches by Pauline Williams

The seventh of these  poetry/spoken word events  I have organised, hosted and performed at presented a slightly uncomfortable challenge…a seasonal Christmas bout of cold/flu/lurgy/ear infections had left me more than slightly deaf…meaning I might HAVE had some trouble MODULATING the tone of my VOICE!!!


Despite my difficulties, the evening proved to be a great mix of the heartfelt, the honest, the entertaining and the just plain daft as the performers each brought their own unique way with words to the stage, and after a silly rap parody opening from me came…

Julie Pritchard


Preferring to perform without the  microphone, ‘The Walking Poet’ offered up her soul in word form, her poems taking in the nature she observes joyfully and the world wide conflicts that break her heart.  A published poet with a new collection due in 2016, Julie also runs a regular open mic event, and started the R.A.R.A open mic night that meets on the second Monday each month at the Mackintosh Sports Club Bar in Cardiff. Next to the stage came…

Sheila Hart


Playful at times, with a degree of venom lurking beneath the the surface, Sheila held the attention of the room effortlessly. Next, with a mix of the bawdy and the personal came…

Fritz O’Skennick


Equally at home covering the questions within the mind in turmoil and playfully rhyming his way through cheeky takes on the masculine life experience gone wrong,  Fritz was a welcome voice on a rainy night night.

This summary of the evening  will continue after these sketches of several performers made during the event by Pauline Williams, featuring Sheila Hart, Fritz O’Skennick, Paula Hughes, Gordon Anderson and Clive Oseman…12512031_10154624111563975_1705991520_n12540380_10154624102613975_679445978_nFritz O’Skennick was followed by a very different kind of performance from…

Paula Hughes


As a very young Gary Numan fan, Paula wrote a poem about her hero, hoping to get it published by his fan club magazine. Young Paula was left sadly disappointed, but today her youthful words about Gary, his hair and music provide a time machine in words revealing how funny and sweet what we do and say can be looked back on years later! And with a powerful voice she followed up on exploring youthful passions with a more current driving strong desire to see a dream of hers come to  be…The Green Mile has no official Musical adaptation thus far, but Paula has  embarked upon creating one!

Following Paula, came…

Gordon Anderson


Normally more cheerful looking than this snap suggests, Gordon was playing a character at the time…Slightly morally askew character monologues are a feature of Gordon’s performance pieces and those of us with memories of  of the adverts featuring Barry Scott for Cillit BANG chuckled along to a  twisted surrreal(ish) reimagining of the screen persona fronting the ads in question…Next,  Straight Outta Swindon came…

Clive Oseman


At times, Clive feels compelled by the reaction to certain of his pieces to point out they reflect neither his real life history nor his personal desires and there are, in fact, acts of creative writing involved…irony and imagination may in short supply in some people but definitely  no such drought in Clive’s lines…next, with observational humour and and also occasionally revealing the contents of her life and heart, came…

Bridget Leggy Tanner


The behaviour at office parties, contraceptives discarded in car parks, the proximity of rugby players faces to each other’s bums in scrums and honest reflections on some of the aspects of her life she would rather have done without are likely to be encountered upon listening to BLT perform…next came…

Patrick Widdess


Poet and Podcater, Patrick weaves a little surrealism into his world of words, where  nightmarish encounter with a giant moth might be matched up with a tale of purchasing excuses or with passionate plea that people not read their poems off their bloody phone. Check out his warm and insightful interviews with fellow poets on Headstand

Then, not doing headstands, but waving his arms at me to call me to join him at the mic when my rather deaf ears missed the verbal invitation, came…

Dave Daggers


A lover of life with a heart of gold, Dave had decided my stage costume, an Ace of Spades T-shirt needed replacing, so he handed me a card he had got poets to sign during the night to thank me for organising Megaverse events and a new Ace of Spades T-shirt.  Then he performed Ace Of Spades, accompanying himself on electric ukulele with a built in drum machine…would Lemmy have been honoured or horrified? Who can tell? With typically enthusiastic abandon Mr Daggers threw himself around the stage during a tribute performance that was as truly unique as his approach to the poetry he also lobbed in the general direction of the audience! Then came…



Those who have heard Renn perform never know if she will bring her joyfully outrageous side or her more calm and considered elements to her performance and keeping people on their toes seems to be a definite aim from this performance artist who recently incepted JUKE, a monthly free open mic night she hosts, welcoming all kinds of spoken word performance. Click here to find out about the next JUKE (the first since the death of David Bowie, so expect tributes, including one from me). After Renn at Megaverse came…

Gareth Davies


Often aiming for the funny bone with brief pieces, Gareth didn’t disappoint the audience at Megaverse, so I will have to trust the reception he got as a big thumbs up, since my pesky ears were failing me again…thanks for putting yourself forward to perform on the night, and hear you better soon!

After Gareth, I called to the stage…

 Francesca Murphy


Warm, inventive, friendly and as likely to sing as recite or read, Francesca once again delivered the goods with her presence and enjoyment of what she does adding extra levels to already polished performance skills! And when she was done, along came…

Fran Smith


Fran, Philosphical Body Poet, delivers words that reflect her work and her attitude to life, seeking to promote physical and psychic healing through promotion of postivity and compassion in her writing and therapeutically with her practice of kinesiology, aiming to  treat the mind and the body and explore the effect of one on the other…the mad rush and novelty addiction of the modern world have a lot to answer for, according to Fran’s words!

And Fran’s words would have been the final ones from the poets and performers I was introducing, had it not been for…

Jacque Croupier


Jacque was an unexpected and very welcome addition to the list of performers at the Megaverse at the Full Moon, stepping up from serving drinks behind the bar to deliver lines behind the mic. Influenced by hip hop, he is no stranger to performing his work and introducing that of others in his non bar work life via Left Suit Events who will be putting on a benefit gig in memory of David Bowie (SOLD OUT, I’m afraid, I didn’t get a ticket in time, either).

The words of Ssh author John Eliot also featured in Megaverse 7, though he became unable to  make the event in person so I read out two pieces on his behalf, Autumn and Divorce…

I wrapped up proceedings with The Booty Song and the seventh Megaverse was done, just want to thank everyone who agreed in advance to perform, and Gareth and Jacque for joining the event on the night. Info on Megaverse and pics from previous events can be found here

And look, a mosaic montage of the night….thanks again for the pictures, Paula Hughes, and if you look at them, you’ll be able to spot Pauline Williams, Sketchbook in hand!

Spot lit microphone and stand on an empty stage


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