Rhymes with Orange started with five friends meeting at the terribly unsociable hour of 7am on a Wednesday morning in Holborn to write. We each had our own projects to work on but when we decided to challenge ourselves to write a spoken word piece and perform it at an open mic in London, we all stood up to the challenge and, not content with performing at separate nights, we decided to put on our own night for us all to perform at in front of our nearest and dearest. And it spiralled a little out of control. Meet your co-founders and resident poets.

Becky Dennis

Stand-up poet

“I love rhyming and its funky rhythm. And I love listening to other people weaving magical stories with their words.”

Chris Wolfe

Compere & stand-up poet

“I am a theatermaker and all-purpose storyteller. My spoken work tends to written and performed in the 18th century “raging nerd” style. I’m also an experienced workshop leader and coach, so if you want feedback, let’s talk. My favorite performance was my one-man play Generation 9/11:So Far/So Close, which premiered to critical acclaim at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and toured the US. Follow me @chrisxwolfe.”

Dan Piper

Stand-up poet

“My name is Daniel Piper. I was born five weeks premature and I have small hands. I was once stung on the arm by a jellyfish in Barcelona. I immediately ran into the toilet in a nearby restaurant and did a wee on the arm. When I left the toilet, a waiter told me that I could have just poured vinegar on it. My favourite James Bond film is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

Ellie Dawes

Stand-up poet

“Kim and Thomas and these nice Rhymes with Orange people made me get on stage and do poems. Before that I was living a turgid existence going to the theatre and directing an occasional zombie apocalypse and the only creative thing I ever really wrote was the occasional angry blog about how much I hate Michael Bay. Rhymes with Orange changed my life. If I can write a poem, so can you.”

Kimberley Pryor

Stand-up poet

“I love performance poetry as it challenges me to be creative and produce work that other people are interested in listening to. Having flirted with it studying creative writing at uni and re-igniting that flame in adulthood I feel like I have a lot left in me yet. I am excited about learning, becoming better and perhaps most importantly, inspiring others to see the creativity in them and that getting on stage, ain’t that hard. Follow me @theartinscience”

Rachel Malham

Stand-up poet

“I’ve always had ideas for stories ever since I was little. A few years ago, I put one into free verse and decided to be reckless and enter it into a poetry competition. To my utter surprise, it was a runner-up. “But I’m not a poet…..!” I kept telling people, albeit with a delighted grin on my face, and started to wonder if that was actually true. Most of what I write has its roots in real life – where I have marvelled at a moment, wanting to pin it down and preserve it, and resurrect it as spoken word.”

Sam Wong

Stand-up poet

“I did standup comedy for a while before stumbling into Rhymes With Orange and finding the atmosphere, audience, and other performers to be 10 times warmer than my experience of the open mic circuit. And empirical tests showed that jokes are 10 times funnier when they rhyme. Occasionally, I’m allowed to play a ukulele on stage, but don’t let that put you off. My favourite part of Rhymes is the writing retreats, which literally involve staying on an island or in a medieval church.”

Stevie Tyler

Stand-up poet

“I wrote my first poem at the age of 7. It was called ‘Honey honey’ and was about the murderous consequences of getting honey on my knife, my hair and the baby. It was surreal and comi-tragic – a style I haven’t shaken some 20 years later. I’m passionate about bringing out people’s creativity and giving them the confidence to get up on stage. I believe poetry is a perfect way for people to share their stories. And everyone has stories to tell.”

Thomas Muirhead

Compere & Stand-up poet

“I view spoken word poetry as a storytelling mechanism primarily. So, that’s why my poems are normally fairly rambling and begin with the words ‘once upon a time’. Yet to feature are a goat, a troll, a fairy or a sleeping princess, but there is still time. Seeing people come to life on stage, people you wouldn’t expect suddenly standing up and offering so much – that makes me happy.”