Category Archives: commission

Admiral’s Tea Party Workshops

I have been holding some community workshops for the Admiral’s Tea Party – to collect stories and feelings from local people about the Lower Lines, which will feed into the final piece. In the first workshop, we made poems using traditional Kentish words. Another workshop is still to be arranged – keep your eyes on the Wordsmithery and Paint the Town Facebook pages for info.

vulgar tongue

 

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A new site specific play: The Admiral’s Tea Party

The Admiral’s Tea Party is a new site specific performance which will take its inspiration from aspects of Chatham’s heritage, commissioned for the  Paint The Town Festival.

I have wanted to do some projects around the history of Medway for quite a long while, and hopefully this will be the first of a few things I’ve got planned.

The Admiral of the Fleet (head honcho of the British navy) used to have a residence in the Lower Lines Park in Gillingham, Kent. And apparently he used to organise fabulous tea parties on the lawn there! This is the inspiration for the project, which will be a collection of stories about the area. I want stories and writing from local people to be a part of the show, so I am leading some creative writing workshops to help create the final piece.

WORKSHOPS:

The first workshop will be held on Saturday 22nd April 2017 from 1- 3pm at Nucleus Arts Centre. Book here.

There is also a second workshop on Wednesday 26 April, 2-5pm at the Brook Theatre. Book here.

ACTORS NEEDED!

Join the Community Cast for this new outdoor theatre performance exploring the history of Gillingham’s Lower Lines Park. The site specific show will be performed on the afternoon of Saturday 24 June. If you are interested, please email Wordsmithery for further info.

AdmiralsTeaLogo

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23 Submarines – poem

Here is one of my poems for the 23 Submarines project, which was a Medway-based fun poetry, art and theatre project run by Icon Theatre in 2015-2016.

Submarine women

Alone, they wait.
Their boys were chosen
Because they had no lovers
But most had mothers.

They wait, the women
Fingers strumming on tables,
They wait.
Whilst he, out of sight
Does who knows what
For a vague unspecified sense of right
For King or Country
It all seemed to make perfect sense at the time
They’ve forgotten now, any
Patriotism replaced by the dread feeling
That their sons might die under those dark waves.

She sits in the kitchen
Makes his favourite meal
Stares at the empty place
He used to sit. Alone.

23 Submarines booklet

23 Submarines booklet

 

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Margate is

 

Photo of the Wordsmithery team

Wordsmiths at work

Wordsmithery have been hosting pop-up writing retreats as part of this year’s Margate festival, in the shelter where TS Eliot wrote parts of The Waste Land.

Here is a collaborative poem written by Margate passers-by on 10 September. We will be back in the shelter this Saturday. (More info.)

Margate is…

Margate is…

A place. Homely.

Margate is…

My retirement,

Walking the dog

On a stretch of sand.

Margate is…

A wonderful place to live,

Modern then charming:

The derelict facade of Dreamland

And the Turner, like sliced off flats.

It’s sunny – I like the views

… But it smells funny.

Margate is…

Fascinating.

‘Marg-bella’:

On a sunny day, a place to swim;

On a windy day it’s like living on

the edge of hell.

Crap.

Margate is…

Happiness, beautiful

A lovely coastline, lovely people

In Margate…

You’ve got to be careful

It’s stuck in the ‘60s… the ‘70s maybe

We’ve started the Christmas shopping.

The Turner’s like Minecraft

Or like sails.

It’s diverse,

exciting

full of historic cultural gems

My beloved Margate…

Light, space, sand, huge skies.

Horizons, possibilities.

Much maligned,

It’s really on the up.

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23 Submarines Poetry Trail

photo of poem posterThe poetry trail is now up around the Medway towns and here is a photo of a section of my poem ‘Submarine Depths’ currently in the window of the Visitor Information Centre in Rochester!

Looking forward to following the trail and finding the other writers’ extracts.

There are two more open mics: 14 July at Rainham Library and 15 September at Chatham Library. See council website for bookings and more info. .

 

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23 Submarines

23 Submarines logo23 SUBMARINES is a project combining poetry, visual arts and performance devised by Medway Libraries and Icon Theatre, supported by LV21 and Medway Arts Development Team.

I’m excited to say I have been commissioned (along with some other writers – Barry Fentiman Hall, Sarah Hehir, James McKay, Patience Agbabi and Dan Simpson) to write poems about the submarines scattered around Medway, and extracts from the writing will go on posters around Medway. During the project, we will be visiting the submarines to get inspiration – the poets’ daytrip being in February.

UPDATE: The poems have been written and snippets from them are being put up on posters around Medway. There are open mics on 9 June, 14 July and 15 September where some of the poets will no doubt read their poems. For more info see the Visit Medway website.

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