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Blah's Big Weekend

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Presented by Tangent Books, Bristol Old Vic and The Thunderbolt Arts Pub

Blahblahblah presents three days jam packed with performances and conversations from and with some of the biggest names in poetry and spoken wordery.

In a ground-breaking collaboration between Tangent Books, Bristol Old Vic and The Thunderbolt Arts Pub, Blah's Big Weekend is a huge and colourful celebration of words and a chance to engage with some of the best and brightest poetic minds in the UK.

With performances from John Hegley, London's hottest spoken word night Tongue Fu and a stripped-back, intimate spoken word performance from 2014 Mercury Prize nominee Kate Tempest as well as silly workshops for young ‘uns and discussion tea parties, Blah's Big Weekend will be bursting with talent.

So come and watch performances from some of the biggest names in spoken word, talk to the poets, eat cake, order yourself a tailor-made poem, join our workshops, dance in our poetry disco bar, fill your ears with words. Then, on Kick-Back Sunday at The Thunderbolt Arts Pub, see new work before it goes to Edinburgh. Words to feed the soul and there's stew to feed the body.

It's going to be a blinder.

Thu 30 Apr
Song, Dance and Ghost Story: John Hegley

Fri 1 May
Talking Tea Party #1: The Furture Of Publishing
Kate Tempest with support from Bohdan Piasecki

Sat 2 May
Jonny Fluffypunk: Poetry and story-telling workshop
Amy Mason: Spoken work theatre writing workshop
Vanessa Kisuule, poet in residence
Talking Tea Party #2: Spoken Word Theare
Tongue Fu feat. Salena Godden, Tim Clare and Vanessa Kisuule

Sun 3 May
Kick-Back Sunday at The Thunderbolt Arts Pub

Song, Dance and Ghost Story
John Hegley

Thu 30 April, 8pm, Studio, £12/£10*

A brand new show from master story-teller John Hegley, Song Dance and Ghost Story is a tale of hotels, family feelings and hamsters, with a musical accompanist and many drawings.

Audience members will have the chance to sing and gesticulate as the tale unravels and the squirrels on Squirrel Island go looking for their nuts. Largely jolly with melancholy moments. Song Dance and Ghost story is suitable, or tolerable, for humans aged between 10 and 100.

After the show, John will lead us off to the Northern Soul disco in our poetry bar, with excellent DJ, David Belcher.


Talking Tea Party #1
The Future of Publishing

Fri 1 May, 2.30pm, Studio, £5* (with tea and cake)

Come and join Richard Jones of Tangent Books, Kate Johnson, agent for Wolflit, Clive Birnie of Burning Eye Books and Author Stefan Mohammed for tea, cake and discussion as we explore the various routes into publishing, looking at independent publishing houses, self-publishing and the traditional methods of applying to big publishing houses. Chaired by author Anna Freeman.


Kate Tempest
Support from Bohdan Piasecki

Fri 1 May, 8pm, Studio, £18/£15*

** SOLD OUT **
Please contact Box Office for returns.

We're delighted to be able to offer a rare chance to see Kate in an intimate setting, to be up close as she weaves her magic. With no band, no huge crowd to try to look past; this is Kate, raw and real. It promises to be spellbinding. Book early!

Kate Tempest is a poet, rapper, novelist and playwright with so many achievements and accolades we don't have space to list them all. She's been awarded the Ted Hughes Prize for innovation in poetry, a Herald Angel at Edinburgh Fringe, been Mercury Prize nominated and was named by the Poetry Society as a Next Generation Poet, a once a decade accolade.

She'll be supported by Bohdan Piasecki, a hugely talented poet from Poland and a Bristol Old Vic favourite. Warm, engaging and innovative, Bohdan is Lead Artist for the Roundhouse Poetry Collective and hosts Hit the Ode - the UK's only regular international performance poetry event.


Poetry & story-telling workshop
Jonny Fluffy-Punk

Sat 2 May, 10.30am, Studio, £2* for adults free for children
Workshop for 5-7 year olds

Hilarious, talented, joyously-moustached wordsmith Jonny Fluffypunk will tell poems and stories that lead your kids through the brilliant world of beginning poetry, with a chance to join in and try some for themselves. Totally free for the kids, and parents welcome too.


Spoken word theatre writing workshop
Amy Mason

Sat 2 May, 12pm, Studio, £5*

Amy's debut novel The Other Ida was the winner of the 2014 Dundee International Book Prize, and her show The Islanders, a spoken word and musical collaboration with Jim Moray and Eddie Argos, won the Ideas Tap/Underbelly Edinburgh Award. Her new solo show, Mass, debuted at Bristol Old Vic in March...and it was awesome!

Amy will be guiding you through the best ways to begin and polish your own writing for theatre. Plus, she's extra lovely and fun. All skill levels welcome.


Poet in residence, Vanessa Kisuule

Sat 2 May, 1pm-2.30pm and 6.30pm-8pm, Studio, Free

Vanessa Kisuule is a brilliant, multiple-slam winning performance poet who's performed all over the place. Her first collection, Joyriding the Storm, is published by Burning Eye Books.

Vanessa will be hanging out in the theatre bar with her old school typewriter, and will create you your very own tailor-made poems, on the subject of your choice, totally free of charge. Go get yourself a poem or just have a natter about anything you like, poetry, the world, how she finds such brilliant stuff to stick in her hair.


Talking Tea Party #2
Spoken Word Theatre

Sat 2 May, 2.30pm, Studio, Free


Why is spoken word becoming so popular? What does it take to turn a piece of poetry into a full length theatre show? What are the challenges of working in a new, groundbreaking genre? And is this cake really free? Poets and audiences come together to look at the explosion of new spoken word solo shows.

Come and join poetry show-makers Chris Redmond, Jonny Fluffypunk, Amy Mason and Vanessa Kisuule, and literary producer Sharon Clark, as we ponder these questions and eat the free cake. Chaired by author, poet and Blahblahblah host Anna Freeman. Free to attend.


Tongue Fu
feat. Salena Godden,
Tim Clare & Vanessa Kisuule

Sat 2 May, 8pm, Studio, £15/£12*

Hosted by Chris Redmond, Tongue Fu is one of London's liveliest and best attended spoken word nights. Poets performing with an off-the-cuff musical backing from the brilliant Tongue Fu band, it's a riotous experiment in poetry, music and improvisation; frequently surprising, sometimes hilarious, often poignant and always unrehearsed.

Salena Godden is a legend in spoken word; witty, intelligent, moving and entirely original. Tim Clare is a hilariously funny award-winning poet and author, and Vanessa Kisuule is a brilliant, multiple-slam winner.

Tongue Fu is a wild, playful, poetry party, where no one knows quite what will happen until it happens, which is just how a party should be.


Kick-Back Sunday

Sun 3 May, 3pm, The Thunderbolt Arts Pub, Totterdown, Free entry

The Thunderbolt is a lovely, traditional pub on the Bath Road. We've invited three brilliant poets to come and perform previews of the spoken word shows they'll be taking to Edinburgh Fringe, and it doesn't cost a thing to come and watch. Dave, the loveliest landlord, will be putting on big pots of homemade stew (meat and vegetarian options) and there's a playpark in the garden for the kids. Shows, stew and booze - is there a better way to spend a Sunday?

At 4pm we'll be watching stand up comedian, poet and Bristol native Angie Belcher, at 6pm we have the hilarious, award winning poet Tim Clare, and at 8pm a totally fresh debut from World Slam champion Harry Baker.

The work is untested, the poets are talented and friendly, and admission is free. We think it's the best way possible to round off the Big Weekend, and we'll all still have bank holiday Monday to recover.


Blah's Big Weekend
30 Apr-3 May

*plus booking fee

Presented by Tangent Books, Bristol Old Vic and The Thunderbolt Arts Pub

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