In May (and I had no intention of leaving it so long to update this blog!) playwright and former artist-in-residence at the Globe Theatre Peter Oswald and his company, came to the Bike Shed Theatre for a fortnight to take up a residency there, with his extraordinary new verse play 'Lucifer Saved', prefaced by poetry performances by various talented poets, and a number of Poetry Nights, including with performances by his award winning other half, the well known poet Alice Oswald. I was lucky enough to be asked to perform as part of one of the Poetry Nights, and to my delight, Peter Oswald actually performed a verse version of the story of Egil's poem The Head Ransom, adapted from the C12th Egilsaga! It was wonderful to hear, not least as the story and the poem are still not nearly as well known as they should be. Richard Thomas of Symmetry Pebbles magazine did an amusing and thoughtful set, and slam champion Aisling Fahey gave a warm, witty, heartfelt and very mature set provoking both laughter and the occasional tear. It was really delightful to perform alongside such company. Huge thanks to all of them and especially Peter Oswald and Simon Williams.
What was also so lovely was simply the fact that the festival was a perfect fit - I have been trying (in various forms, before settling on a storytelling theatre as it seemed that gave people an easier handle on it for booking purposes) to combine poetry and theatre from not long after I left college! But when I touted 'The Poetry Theatre' I was still surrounded by obstacles, and so never really gave it its fullest chance to shine. That said, there were some interesting gigs - I'll not forget performing 'The Secret Garden', a set of glorious garden related poetry (and three of my own involving nature) in a constructed 'bower of bliss' to open a garden sculpture exhibition at Ilminster House arts centre in Somerset! A beautiful building, and it was tremendous fun to do (if nerve-wracking trying to build a garden arch etc. indoors when I had so little experience of such things!). Since then companies such as Live Canon and The Lion's Part have done similar things to acclaim. And I have woven poetry into various shows which we've done - but who knows, perhaps 'The Poetry Theatre's time is yet to come?
2 weeks ago