Loud-Word

Harry and Chris + Gecko at the Wardrobe Theatre

harryandchris

 

Review written for Weston-Super-Mum

Having seen Harry Baker perform a few times I was excited to see he was back in Bristol for the first night of his UK tour. Harry has developed his performance and teamed up with his BFF Chris Read combining spoken word, song and guitar music.

The audience was notably younger than usual at the Wardrobe theatre, with a high number of well-groomed young men with waxed moustaches. A brazen anticipation was bubbling in the air before the first act Gecko emerged. Harry and Chris teamed up with Gecko after their successful sell out run at Edinburgh Festival. Gecko sings about all the important issues in life: Eastenders, the tooth fairy and libraries, to name a few. His playfully dry humour had the audience mesmerised; many people got to their feet to deliver rampant applause at the end of his act. My companion for this evening was my sixteen year old son and he absolutely loved it, inspired by sharp wit, verbal dexterity and occasional references to mathematics – it was an inspiring evening for him.

Harry and Chris deliver the pun-tastic second half , where they wisely and generously poke fun at themselves as ‘wholesome inoffensive people’, claiming that their ideal demographic is a Christian youth worker. It feels like a privilege to see these performers at the beginning, as their careers are taking off. Their unapologetic joy in the world and generosity of heart towards each other and the audience is heart-warming. Although each performer gives a distinct nod towards the political climate and the general shitiness that is going on a global scale, they stay focused on hope. It is life-affirming (almost a religious experience ;)) to see the spoken word scene embraced so passionately. I noted a number of performers from various spoken word nights in the audience, the talent and skill in Bristol is incredible.

My personal favourite was ‘Let’s all Play Monopoly’, a parody of a One-Direction song. For me it summed up the love of play and abundance of time to play. I left feeling uplifted with the words of the last song in my head ‘Give me Simple Times’ and ‘What a Wonderful World’. Thank you Harry and Chris + Gecko for bringing sweet, sensitive insights and refreshingly smart word-play into the world.

 

This was the first night of the Harry and Chris + Gecko international tour

Pink Mist at Bristol Old Vic

pink

Written for Weston-Super-Mum

Pink Mist had sell out seasons in 2016 in both Bristol and London, so when I heard it was returning to Bristol Old Vic before its 2017 UK tour I had to see it. Owen Sheers writes with such lyrical beauty that the audience experiences the true stories behind the act of going to war. ‘Pink Mist’ was inspired by thirty interviews with returned servicemen and was originally written for the radio.

 

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Why the Arts?

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It’s no small thing working in the arts. No small thing at all. When I’m sick and there’s no pay, or a full-on contract with an end in sight, with no time to pitch for a new contract.  No holidays. No manager. No rest. All my peers are tired and funding has been cut all over the place. Support is less and less, there’s nothing to lean on, nowhere to go to.

I phoned the GP yesterday, I’ve been ill for a month the receptionist said ‘Haven’t you seen the news lately? The doctor hasn’t got time to call you. They barely have time to do surgery. The situation is dire here.’ I go back to bed and think for a while about the projects I have set up. The fact that the council won’t allow the posters I had designed to be printed. Why? Because of the cuts, the freezes on budgets. Frustration is building up around me with the people I’m networking with. What’s the point when the service you are working to promote may well be gone next month? I do think ‘Why? Why the arts?’ it is hard not to.

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Rocky: A Horror Show at the Wardrobe Theatre

Written for Weston-Super-mum

rocky

Rocky: A Horror Show proves that the other Rocky offerings were only placed on this earth as the ingredients for this show. After the world shattering success of Goldilock, Stock and Three Smoking Bears last Christmas at the Wardrobe the tickets for this show flew out of the door faster than a fast thing. If you are super quick and get in touch with the box office right now, you might be part of the glittering gang that have witnessed this gender blending, punchy-parody.

 

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Windmill Hill City Farm – Sundial creation.

Sundial discs – designs

It’s been 40 years since volunteers first cleared the ground for Windmill Hill City Farm to begin. We are celebrating by creating a legacy – a sundial that will be a permanent fixture at the front of the farm. The sundial is operated by you and your shadow will tell the time!

sundialpicjenny

We have invited our local community to take part in creating the designs for our sundial discs. Over the last three months children and adults have been sharing their ideas by drawing them, writing them down or chatting about them. Here are some of the people who have taken part.

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