Several years ago, over a boozy pint or three (or possibly seven, ed) in the Lych Gate Tavern in Wolverhampton, Emma Purshouse, Dave Pitt and myself decided it might be fun to work together, collaborate on projects, take it in turns to buy rounds, and generally have each other’s backs.
As ideas go, this one was a belter. Since then, as Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists, we’ve written a spoken word show, taken it to Edinburgh Fringe (and round the country), put on a range of poetry and spoken word events, and worked with local literature festivals to put on poetry slams, run workshops, book fringe shows, and suggest other events for their programmes. I think it’s fair to say we’d have done precisely none of that working alone.
Our latest venture? A new spoken-word show – our second – which we took up to Morecambe Fringe late in July after squeezing in a rehearsal or two on the hottest days of the year when the temperature was a stifling 35ºC as we stumbled over our lines in what should have been the cool of evening. Hey ho. The show must go on. And was it worth it? Yes, it most definitely was. The audience laughed when we’d hoped they’d laugh, applauded when we’d not dared to expect it, came along with us for the poetry ride all the way to the end of the line, and didn’t throw anything, which is always a bonus.
And today, the news that our little show – which we’re not entirely sure has a name yet – has won the Best Spoken Word Show award from Morecambe Fringe. Which is just the sort of news you want when you’ve spent the best part of the day varnishing freshly-sanded floorboards. A timely boost to morale never goes amiss, and I shall return to my household DIY with renewed vigour and a big grin. And maybe try and settle on a name for the show.
Or discuss it with Dave and Emma over a pint or three down the pub and see where that leads us. Yeah. Beer, crisps, and crazy ideas coming up. That’ll do nicely. See you at the bar, compadres!