Elvis’s Big Love Poetry Night

Beth Dunant, our Arts Administrator, writes about Elvis’s Big Love Poetry Night, a gig supported by Apples and Snakes last week.

I was very excited to be working at Elvis’s Big Love Poetry Night. Living in East London and working in the South East, it was a bit of a treat to go to Southfields – a very nice area in West London – and to help out at a gig at The Earl Spencer gastro pup. The venue was lovely and, as we had partnered with theatre company SherGer Productions, we actually had a set, rather than a lonely mic stand that’s the norm at a lot of poetry gigs. We also had heart shaped balloons, rose petals and candles to set the mood for this loved-themed evening of Valentines poetry.

I was on the door taking the entrance fee and signing people up to the open mic list. I love this job as it means I get to chat to everyone as they come in, and sign them up for our mailing list (which you can also do here! – ed.) I also really enjoy freaking people out by asking them if they would like to perform on the open mic – they all have the same mix of shock and fear on their faces. The night started with the open mic performers. As always, it gave us a great mix of themes, styles and techniques – all (and why am I always surprised by this) high quality. For me, the highlight of the open mic had to be Isobel White who performed a piece in the voice of Robbie Burns mixed with Jamaican Patois – what a combination! The open mic also had the oldest open mic-er I have ever seen, a self-professed 92 year old.

Next up was feature act Ardella Jones who gave us what can only be described as a quality rant about various things including butchers, schools and men. Second on the bill was Mia Jerome, who I have now seen several times: I really like the honesty and comedy in her work. Closing the evening was Elvis McGonagall himself with a hilarious set. The highlight for me has to be Picking on the Picks, a poem about Hadrian’s Wall and why it was built. I loved this, not only because I come from The Great Border City, but also for the quality of the writing.

A great evening, a lovely venue, a productive partnership with SherGer and incredibly high quality writing and performances.