Spoken Worlds, The Old Cottage Tavern, Burton upon Trent

Spoken Worlds was celebrating both its third anniversary, and the last session of the 2012 calendar on this evening. The event, and organiser Gary Carr, have much to be proud of. The forced change from the original venue has worked, and the event is now an established fixture at the Old Cottage tavern. Local writing group the Runaway Writers form part of the regular core of poets, and a talented outer circle of performers drop in as they are able from as far afield as Lichfield, Chesterfield and Buxton. One regular whose absence was acutely felt was that of Mal Dewhirst indisposed through a health scare from which all wish him a speedy recovery.

All forms of spoken word are encouraged and tonight there were examples of song, flash fiction and storytelling as well as poetry. Rob Stevens, host of Buxton’s Word Wizards was the man with the guitar, his songs are notable for their clever lyrics and thoughtful rhymes and provided a useful aural counterpoint to proceedings. Ray Jolland is a man whose voice requires no musical accompaniment and his Beatles pastiche of “All the Lonely People” took in references to many of Spoken Worlds regular performers, and was warmly received .

Ian Ward read two flash fiction pieces, Bumping on Boundaries and Farmhouse Murder, the first of which sounded as though it had its roots in Netherville, the second of which suffered slightly from character nomenclature which became confusing when spoken, which may not have been so apparent on the page. Ian’s imaginative writing always demands attention. Storytelling in longer fashion is something that Margaret Torr has been exploring with increasing frequency, The Unluckiest Man in the World was a worthy addition to her storytelling cannon.

Any evening depends upon fresh voices, as much as familiar ones ,for its success and tonight there were two debutantes. Christine Binding tackled nuclear war with On This Side, a subject littered with cliche traps which Christine circumnavigated very successfully. From Lichfield Poets came new member Sharon Lightwood who read assuredly two untitled poems about children, parents and growing up.

Spoken worlds next meets on Friday 18th January, 2013 at 7.30pm.All welcome, free entrance, sign up on the night.

Gary Longden

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