Well hello 2015, nice to meet you.
Like most of the rest of the inhabitants of my facebook feed I’ve spent the last few two weeks in a blissful stupor induced by an almost non-stop flow of food and alcohol. It was a long time coming and absolutely bloody brilliant.
But now with one more day to go before reality well and truly bites I’m trying to force myself back into a sitting position by reflecting on my latest poetic adventures.
I worked with Theresa Varga and hired Artslav which is a community arts space in Kennington. An old underground male toilet that was shut down in the 80s for being a cottaging hotspot it might not seem the most likely venue but it was cheap as chips and also deceptively roomy. With a little bit of soft lighting the space was actually pretty perfect and we transformed it into a cosy living room for the day. We decked it out with a curtain, throws, armchair and standing lamp then finished off the look with loads of knick knacks, books and (naturally) a giant image of a ginger cat. The final look was granny chic meets…well… derelict Victorian toilet, but in a good way!
Theresa came up with a great split screen idea that had me telling the poem from one side of the frame whilst the action took place on the other side. Stuart Mackenzie was our actor for the part of Banker George and was a dream to work with improvising our disastrous date scene and making me howl with laughter in the process. It was so much fun to see the character come to life and to feel like a proper actress for the day.
I’m extremely happy with the final result, hopefully it’ll be the first of many!
The next challenge was to quickly re-set the room for the evening performance I had planned of my new edits. I had felt excited and energised for this all day…until about 2 hours before kick off I started to feel unaccountably nauseous. Not one to usually suffer too much from nerves It was more than a little alarming especially as by the time people started to arrive I was curled around the toilet bowl.
I’m not going to lie it almost didn’t happen and I’m still not quite sure how I managed to get through performing 45 minutes of comic poetry to a packed out toilet when all I wanted to do was launch myself into the nearest cubicle. Luckily my amazing friends turned up in force and taking one look at my pale clammy face did everything for me! While I weakly mewed instructions from behind a locked door they put up the set, laid out the chairs, lit tea lights, greeted the audience and gave out the free gin, there is literally no way I would have been able to do it otherwise.
I spent the next 24 hours writhing around in agony emerging from my sickbed feeling a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to enjoy the evening after all the hard work and preparation. However at least I now know the true meaning of the phrase the show must go on! Also despite the badly timed sickbug I can’t have done that badly because I got a lovely review from Sabotage.
Since then I’ve been distracted by lots of things going on outside my poetry life and haven’t yet started on any new projects. I’ve been writing a bit though and really want to get back out onto the open mic circuit this year, its been far too long since I made an arse of myself behind a microphone in front of a load of strangers.