Rob is bringing his new hour-long Water Show from the Soho Theatre to Aldershot, Fareham, Portsmouth, Margate, Oxford and other towns outside London in 2016. Details are on his website, here: http://www.robauton.co.uk/#!past-productions/c1bf2
Josiah (right) brought his optimistic take on the city to the mix of the night, with an unexpectedly cheerful poem about city streets in the rain. His poem against the UK bombing in Syria was strong, despite his belief that such poems should be allowed to mature (and ferment) for a year after writing them.
Jim Carter (below) read an appointment at the doctor’s and a memory of “Walking at Whitsun” in the children’s church parade in Manchester. Having just returned from a holiday in the USA, he also had a long poem about American poverty. Its refrain, of “burridos on the side wok” (”burritos on the sidewalk”), became an earworm for his audience.
Kyle McHale (left) brought poems by Patrick Kavanagh, W.B. Yeats and Langston Hughes, the first black poet to earn a living in Missouri, to the microphone. His voice was ideally suited to the poems.
We had a quartet of Surrey ladies with sob-stories and protest poems of varying plausibility: Roya had stories of English middle-class poverty, where for example someone who can't afford a car is kindly labelled ecologically green by their affluent neighbours.
Karen Izod had a story of middle-class crime: her tale of the couple whose interval drinks had been stolen by another theatre-goer will keep many of us awake at night! She also stood up for her right to keep her bad bits and her good bits safe from the scrutiny of R D Laing.
Janis Haves (right), acting under orders from her son, read “Always John”, a poem from a “slam-off”, and followed it up with her own heartfelt protest poem against office work.
Louise Etheridge sang (not literally but in epic mode) a cautionary story of ferrets and a cruel man; she had stern advice, too, about not undressing in front of pets who may be traumatised by the sight!
Below is my (Jan's) contribution: my reading of Adrian Mitchell's great anti-war poem, "To whom it may concern (Tell me no Lies)"
The paper crown Dónall placed on my head is not in any sense symbolic - I'd just pulled a Christmas cracker, that's all!
Ray Pool read his railway ballads about Seth and Shenandoah but only after he'd done a very fair impression of Michael Portillo and reminded us about our childhood games of marbles.
Alex Twyman (below) read a poem by his favourite American poet, Joe Bolton, and brought into the room a flavour of poverty and despair in the USA that reminded me of some of the paintings of Edward Hopper. Alex's own poems have the same quality of bleak observation.
Isabel Bermudez, (left), originally from Bogotá in South America, read poems of heat, Spanish town nights and revolution from her pamphlet, Extranjeros.
You can read Isabel’s poems at http://www.poetrypf.co.uk/isabelbermudezpage.shtml
Andy V read “Donkey” by G K Chesterton and Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne”. He followed up with his own poem dedicated to a past lover, “Love Wrote this Poem”, and finished on fond memories of Croydon.
James Holbrook read two poems by Pete Brown from a head-to-head slam competition, and Andy B J Low (below) threatened us with a naughty little poem by “Ivor Biggun” and read The Lass of Lynn's New Joy" by the well known poet A. Non. Equally “Andy-B-J-ish” was his reading of a strangely topical piece by "The Laureate" from a publication called The Common Muse dated 1957!
Eddie Chauncy (left) read from a very old poem attributed to Buddha concerning “we who do not hate” and followed it up with his own poem about people whose love is like an email message perfected but never sent.
Dexter enchanted us as usual, having been to a Senior Citizen’s Day at B&Q, survived the experience - and snapped up some bargains!