Last weekend your favourite spoken word night packed up its shakers and shuffled on down to the south coast to bring our unique brand of rhyme to the Havant masses.
It was Havant Literary Festival and we were invited to run our night on the Sunday. There were some differences to our usual setup. In place of the night sky was blinding sunshine as it was a 1pm slot; in place of shots were roast dinners; and instead of a room of 100 two-drinks-in punters were a cast of 40 ranging from dogs to kids to granddads. And boy did that excite us. We are used to performing to a liveley evening audience willing you to do well and up for a night of laughter but with the motley crew we’d gathered up, we didn’t know what to expect.
Well, we had nothing to worry about. Ellie Dawes kicked us off with her fox onesie crowd-pleaser and they immediately warmed. They first enjoyed Ellie’s set, followed by me, then by Stevie, who’s stalking poem had the audience in fits, and finished up with Thomas whose old-favourite, Hula Hoops went down a storm. The applause didn’t end there though, because we had special guest Audi Maserati with us and his 80s-rant style poetry entertained us until the roast dinner plates were squeaky clean.
The Limerick Challenge was a full one with the prompts being literary characters and places – around 15 people came up and showed us their lyrical skills entertaining us with the real story behind such literary favourites as Heathcliff and Oliver Twist.. The open mic was equally successful with Daisy Dawes taking the title after her poem about her sister (our very own Ellie) and their not-so-secrets-anymore.
Over the weekend, our stand-up poets were also asked to perform on the town stage and to partake in some guerilla poetry. I tell you, accidental swears in a church and library aren’t nearly as embarrassing as you’d think – the unexpected performances were mostly well-received (we shan’t talk about Barclays Bank…) and we all appreciated having to get out of our comfort zone.
We had a great time in Havant. It was a fantastic opportunity to do a daytime gig, to work with a new audience in a new location and introduce some more people to spoken word. Thanks Havant for Having us – hopefully we’ll be invited back next year!