a new writing festival
1–31 May 2007
An appreciative audience thoroughly enjoyed Turriff Stagecraft's excellent interpretation of the work of Huntly Writers. Staged in the elegant surroundings of Duff House, the evening proved a true celebration of the talents of our local writers and performers.
Lewis-born poet Donald S. Murray introduced us to the part played in the history of rock music by Stornoway, the hat capital of Scotland, and Rhoda Michael introduced poets who have made their home in the Highlands. Gaelic singer Deirdre MacTaggart completed the varied line-up.
Rapunzel Wizard proved he's more than the dreads and motormouth that meet the eye: his instructions were clear, his materials well researched and sourced and his enthusiasm and love for his art inspirational. Two hours well-spent!
Pauline de Koning
Two of the North-East's finest and most under-rated poets, Douglas W. Gray and Judith Taylor presented a finely crafted sequence of poems grouped under the themes of Isolation, Courtship, Sensuality, Cynicism and Wrath.
A Wordfringe favourite, Knotbrook Taylor enjoyed a warm reception at the launch of his latest poetry collection Beatitudes. He was joined by poets Maureen Ross and Majella Cullinane in what proved to be a fine evening of evocative, innovative poetry.
For those who think performance poetry is the lower form of the craft (no more than a few clever gizmos and a lot of mouth)... think again. Rapunzel (with very capable assistant Shade) showed us it is current, powerful, AND witty (often with a serious twist). And most importantly: it allows poetry to live where it should — right at the heart of society.
Pauline de Koning
Rapunzel Wizard, ably compered by his partner Shade, truly looked the part. He performed his wickedly clever blend of political satire and Greenham Common memoirs with huge zest, rhythm and humour, leaving his audience laughing and singing in their seats.
A lively blend of thought-provoking poetry, prose and dialogue written and presented by members of Aberdeen Writers' Circle on the theme of jungles of nature, city and mind, with musical interludes by Aberdeen based Jazz Duo, made for a truly nice night in an imaginative 'starlit' stage setting.
Poet Rachel Fox received rapturous applause at her reading of poems on modern life, love, war and peace. A very confident performer somewhat let down by her support act Andy Fellows who appeared nervous and inadequately prepared, resulting in bad singing and flawed playing of inappropriate instruments.
Poet and nurse educator Colin Macduff and Dead Good Poets Eddie Gibbons and Gerard Rochford presented an intense and moving programme of poetry related to the crucial transitions of life, for nurses and patients, and for all of us.
Performance poetry set to projections and contemporary dance with avant garde music thrown in. It's a recipe for disaster, or would be, were it not for the variety, humour and synergy of its exponents. In an evening of surprises there are unexpected joys, bemusement, profound musings and entertainment.
Shimmying through lively group renditions of their poems, the trio provided a unique blend of funny, moving, profound, respectful and bawdy! Support was the excellent Liana Hemmett, launching her chapbook On the Edge.
Young poets read from their prize-winning poems in an extravaganza of budding Aberdeen and North East talent in this bi-annual event. Sheena Blackhall presented the winners with trophies and cash-prizes. Many of the entries were published in the book Aberdeen Writers' Circle Young Poets Anthology. A packed Arts Centre resulted in only standing room available for a number of proud parents who had accompanied their budding bards for a truly entertaining evening.
What do your words say about you? Throughout this workshop and later in performance Janet Paisley demonstrated — through humour as well as grim and gritty! — how each character has a distinctive voice giving away background, situation, feelings, and develops our individual image whether in real life, in fiction, play or poem.
Matthew Jupe reveals
Wendy Ivers pleads
Pauline de Koning
Poets from Ellon and Glasgow joined Michael Molden for an hour long show of poetry, prose and song. A well-balanced variety of highly entertaining verse and stories from the polemic to humourous, and a few well-timed jokes blended nicely with standard ballads and original songwriting. Pity the event was restricted to only one hour.
Anything Prose members Cal Wallace, Cath Ferguson, Rapunzel Wizard, Roger Barnett, Helen Elizabeth Ramsey and Elaine Kay gave an exuberant performance that took us from murder to Mount Olympus, via tree-planting, nudism, public transport and the Glastonbury Festival, in a display of skilled storytelling ably topped off by vet Josh Artmeier with excerpts from his new book Pet Hates that were both satirical and bitterly sad.
A difficult subject to treat without either preaching or mawkishness, but performers Sheena Blackhall, Ian Watt, Douglas Kynoch, Morag Skene and Paulina Vanderbilt and deviser Gerard Rochford skilfully combined music, images, eyewitness testimony and artistic responses in a survey of 20th- and 21st-century war that was searching, dignified, and deeply moving.
An evening of profound and often humorous work from both acclaimed guest Jim C. Wilson, and complementary double-act, Catriona Yule and Paulina Vanderbilt. The event was rounded-off with music and song — from flautist, Margaret Preston, and singer Karen Raitt.
With some delightful and insightful short poems Douglas Kynoch provided much of the laughter. With readings from her book Day Moth, Maureen Ross lent a feminine voice to different aspects of love. And Brian Lawrie gave an insight of his love of the Scottish mountain scene with a selection of poems from his book From Source to Sea.
Strong words, sweet music — plus heroism, when a burglar alarm's ear-splitting screech forced a hurried relocation. Lesser mortals might have crumbled but not Judy Taylor and her talented team. Undaunted, they rose to the challenge, meriting warm applause.
The Thinking Man's Axl Rose certainly made us do that! Quick-fire performance poems brimming with imagery and humour — a proverbial waterfall of words from his imagination, which the small but appreciative audience appeared to enjoy. Get this man to the next Wordfringe!!!
Martin Walsh's animal tales ranged from comic to insightful. His accomplished writing and performing delivered the listener straight into the story's world, aided by Haworth Hodgkinson's atmospheric musical interludes.
A substantial crowd gathered for the final event of Wordfringe. Aberdeen's favorite poetry venue, Books and Beans, collaborated with Koo Press to launch There's a Poem in my Soup, a collection of poems and recipes. Most of the best poets in the North-East were represented. Proceeds from sales go to CHILDREN 1ST (RSSPCC).
More for Me (FM)! Verbal volcanicity — linguistic laughtermaking — a joy to listen to on several Sunday afternoons in May. Professionalism bubbling to the top on a full glass of potent writers!