Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Three down, two to go

Thank you very much to Jim and Tim for their sterling work in crowd-pleasing over the last two days.

Next up we have Young Dawkins, reigning Scottish Slam Champion and beat poet par excellence.

Finally, on Thursday we have Chrys Salt, a leading light in theatre both sides of the border (who will be punching for two in the absence of Sheila Templeton who has had to pull out).

And of course, there's the regular irregulars! Do come and join us for our last two shows of this season.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Join the Jim!

Why not energise yourself after lunch today with some punchy poetry from Jim Monaghan, runner-up in this year's Scottish Poetry Slam Championship?

Want another reason to convince you to come? How about the standing-room-only crowd we had yesterday, and the loud laughter provoked by the regulars and our first guest (to whom many thanks) Kevin Cadwallender? The show will be different today, so if you came along yesterday, do come again!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

It's Kevin Cadwallender Day!

It's finally here. Release the Daleks!

At 2.15pm today, Kevin Cadwallender will be this year's first special guest at Show 1 of this year's Edinburgh run.

Last Wednesday, Kevin was within a pondering whisker of winning the inaugural BBC Poetry Slam. Today he will face no competition! However, he will be joining forces with the rest of the free-wheeling collective to destroy doubt, exterminate grumpiness and enslave the audience with wit. Oo-oo-oo!

Now you know who (and when), here's the where: Espionage on Victoria Street. Be there or be Tardis-shaped.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Meet us!

Now you've met our guests, why not find out more about the regulars?

In early 2010, sitting in the back room of a Glasgow pub, Jane Overton approached three strange gentlemen with a brilliant idea: let's take the punch, humour and humanity of the spoken word evenings we enjoy and bring them to the Edinburgh Fringe. So, who is Jane Overton and who are these strange men? Well, read on!

Not only do we give you words, you can also have pictures and videos. In fact, there are quite a few clips of us on the Internet. In most of them, we are wearing clothes, but you never know what you might find when you start cyber-stalking us.

In the meantime, enjoy the brief summary information below, complete with one performance poem each...

Jane Overton

A new veteran of the performance poetry scene, Jane loosely runs "Arguments and Nosebleeds" from command central in North Ayrshire. With her hands held to heaven, she can be heard to entreat gods of inconvenience in her signature piece poem "Exodus" - as captured on film and incorporated into our logo (despite occasional cringes when she recognises said image as herself). You can see Jane in full flow below with another favourite, "Here is the news":

Robin Cairns

Robin is one of Scotland's leading performance poets. Winner of many a slam himself, he is the organiser and host of poetry slams across the west of Scotland, including the annual Scottish Poetry Slam Championship at the Aye Write! book festival, as well as poetry and spoken word evenings such as "Last Monday at Rio!" in Glasgow's west end. Robin is known best for quick-fire lyrical comedy, but below you can see the master craftsman trying out a more serious piece of work, "Coming Of Age In The Riot City", at the "Words and Music" night at Sammy Dow's pub in Strathbungo, Glasgow (where the four of us meet, perform and plot our collaborations):

Find out, and see, more on Robin's website.

Alex Frew

If you see a man playing the guitar with evangelical fervour, or giving it up rapper style-ee, or sporting kilt, jumper and an improbable accent, then that's probably Alex in performance mode. Another Ayrshire person, he has been bewildering audiences with satire and lunacy that draws from all four corners of this square world. Here he is, giving a relatively muted performance of "McGonagal Widnae Die":

Chris Young

Chris is a young-ish man experienced at writing in the third person (being the group's webmaster and social media bod). His London accent belies 18 years spent in Scotland. A poetry slam champion with theatrical stylings, Chris performs poetry, parodies, comic songs and burlesque, as well as being a ventriloquist and magician's assistant. Below, you can see him in after-dinner mode (only before the dinner, so as to give an "Address to a Vegetarian Haggis"):

For more news, photos and footage, visit his website.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Meet our guests!

In addition to the regular performers, we have guests at our performances. Never twice same show! Each show of our run of five this year has its own event on Facebook, if you want to add it to your cyber-diary.

All shows are at 2.15pm (to 3.15 pm) at Laughing Horse @ Espionage (Venue 185), entrances on Victoria Street and Cowgate.

Sunday 21 August: Kevin Cadwallender

Originally from the north east of England, Edinburgh-based Kevin is now a leading light on the Scottish poetry scene. As well as being Commissioning Editor of Red Squirrel Press Scotland, he is Creative Editor of the recently launched Drey magazine. A veteran of radio broadcasting and bringing poetry to the masses, Kevin is known for his energetic yet droll performance style and his aptitude for imitating Daleks (when his doctor isn't listening) and demons (when his children are).

Monday 22 August: Jim Monaghan

Jim is an Ayrshire man - Cumnock to be precise. His writing mixes local flavour, satirical bite and intoxicating wit, all of which helped him to become runner-up in the 2011 Scottish Poetry Slam Championship. You can see him performing on his YouTube channel.

Tuesday 23 August: Tim Turnbull

Tim Turnbull is used to holding the attention of captivated audiences - literally, since he has worked extensively bringing creativity and literacy to Her Majesty's Prisons, amongst other places. He is a distinguished poet on both page and stage.

Wednesday 24 August: Young Dawkins

Young Dawkins is the 2011 Scottish Slam Poetry Champion. His debut solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe is What I Know About Women So Far. As the 2011 Scottish Slam Poetry Champion, he recently represented Scotland at the Slam Poetry World Cup in Paris. A regular on the Edinburgh and Glasgow performance poetry scenes, Young Dawkins was a central figure in the New Hampshire beat poetry revival movement.

Thursday 25 August: Chrys Salt & Sheila Templeton

Chrys Salt is a poet, writer and theatre director, co-editor of Markings Publications, Artistic Director of The Bakehouse, a flourishing arts venue in S W Scotland and of "Bare Boards... and a passion" Theatre Company. She has directed many of the country’s leading actors and performed with the great and the dead including George Melly, Poet Laureate Cecil Day Lewis, Ivor Cutler, Dannie Abse, Mike Horovitz, Ian McMillan, Stewart Conn and a host of others. She has performed at Festivals across the country, Europe and the USA, in universities, stately homes, pubs, tents, loving rooms and dank basements. She is a member of the poetry performance group The Solway Poets and is published in journals, magazines and anthologies and been broadcast on both Radio 3 and 4. She is currently writing her next collection to be published in 2012.

Sheila Templeton was born in Aberdeen, had a nomadic childhood (ranging from Aberdeenshire to Dar-es-Salaam), studied at Aberdeen University, and was a secondary school teacher in West Lothian and Edinburgh, before turning to writing professionally and moving to Troon (and now Glasgow). She has had poems read on BBC Scotland and  regularly gives poetry readings. Though many of her poems are in relatively standard English, she also writes in both Doric and Lowland Scots. And she wins lots of prizes!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Competition Time (2) and a sample

First, although Robin, Chris and Jane missed out on reaching the BBC Poetry Slam final tonight, that cannot be said of this year's first guest Kevin Cadwallender. Cheer him on tonight and then catch him on Sunday afternoon as he helps to launch this year's show proper!

But before then...

Wednesday 17 August, 5.15pm
The Street, Piccardy Place (top of Broughton Street), Edinburgh
International Gay Sampler
Chris Young provides comic poetry to a line-up of LGBT and bendy-friendly comedy.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Competition Time

First, another thank you to Inky Fingers and the Forest Cafe for yesterday's outings at the Minifest.

Tonight, Jane Overton returns to Edinburgh to take part in the inaugural BBC Poetry Slam...  

13-17 August, 6.45-8.00pm
Baby Bubble, BBC Venue, Potterrow, University of Edinburgh, Corner of Potterrow and Marshall Street, Edinburgh EH8 9BT
BBC Poetry Slam

If you're around the BBC Venue@Potterrow between the 13th and 17th August, why not head over to the Baby Bubble and enjoy a brilliant, free poetry slam? From 6.45-8pm on those five nights, you will have the chance to see some of the finest spoken-word performers in the country, all hosted by Scottish Slam Poet Champion, Young Dawkins. If you've never seen a poetry slam before then this is your opportunity! You don't need a ticket, so just come by, grab a drink and enjoy some of the best poets performing at the Fringe. Read the full list of competitors here.
Jane Overton is competing tonight (Saturday 13th); Robin Cairns and Chris Young will be battling it out with four others on Monday 15th. Maybe your laughter can help at least one of us get to the final on Wednesday 17th...

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

No Sleep In Bristo

Forest Café, 3 Bristo Place, Edinburgh EH1 1EY
No Sleep In Bristo

As part of the Inky Fingers FREE Edinburgh Minifest, there will be 36 hours of continuous poetry reading from 10am on Thursday 11th August until 10pm Friday 12th August. In advance of the Arguments and Nosebleeds preview at 3pm on Friday, Jane Overton and Chris Young will be grabbing their 15 minutes of fame at 1pm and 2pm respectively. So you can overdose!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

PREVIEW: Friday 12 August @ 3pm

Yes, there is a special EARLY opportunity to see us! The lovely people at Inky Fingers have included us in their Edinburgh Minifest at the Forest Café (3 Bristo Place Edinburgh, EH1 1EY) from 3pm, Friday 12 August. The line-up will include all four of the regular crew: Jane Overton, Robin Cairns, Alex Frew and Chris Young. Come and laugh, cheer, groan - and tell us which poems never to do again!