Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Spine Poetry

 The People of Paper Drive the Sea Road, the Cowards!

 Looking for the Possible Dance, all Passion Spent, Penguin lost the Iguana

 The Stone Gods Writing in the Sand the File on H

 Unweaving the Rainbow, the Tiger that isn't the Black Swan

 City of Djinns - What am I Doing Here? Fishing in Utopia!

 The Dharma Bums never trust a rabbit from a Persian Tea House

The Effect of Living Backwards in the Criminal's Cabinet - The Museum of Innocence

Thanks Marianne for inspiring me to pick up my camera for these photos! Edinburgh City Libraries would be interested to see more examples of book spine poetry!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Silent Souls (Ovsyanki)

A bleak landscape. A man who has just lost his wife prepares her body for cremation and takes her, with his best friend and two caged buntings, on a last trip round places that were important to the couple when she was alive.

A funeral pyre on a beach. Ashes scattered in the river to find their way into eternity.

A mesmerising film of the Merja people of the Volga region of Russia.

Osyvanki (Silent Souls) is showing at Edinburgh Filmhouse until Thursday.

As ever, coloured text contains hyperlinks that take you to other pages, where you can find out more.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Venus in Transition

I was delighted to be asked by Andrew C Ferguson to be one of the voices of Venus Carmichael, in this tribute to the 60s/70s Scottish singer songwriter.

The first show I took part in, was last night at Captains Bar in Edinburgh and went really well. I really enjoyed working beside Andrew with his guitar and Kelly Brooks with her wonderful singing voice (You can listen to some tracks here). The songs are great and the interweaving of songs with spoken word works really well. 

The Captain's Bar is one of my favourite places to read / perform in Edinburgh. It's a long thin room, not obviously congenial to performance but there's always a great atmosphere there. I also get much more of a buzz working in collaboration with other people (specially musicians) so I particularly enjoyed being part of the Venus Carmichael Tribute.

I'm also looking forward to future performances, I think there'll be one in November, so stay tuned!

Meanwhile tonight I'm reading poetry and some other short pieces at Captains Bar, from 6pm alongside Rosie Bell, Mark Gilfillan, James Spence and Helen Boden.

As ever, coloured text contains hyperlinks that take you to other pages where you can find out more. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Grim(m) - Unreal Stories for Real Times

I was delighted to win (in a Twitter competition) a pair of tickets to a show of my choice at Greenside (Venue 231 at Edinburgh Fringe Festival). After browsing the excellent programme, we decided to see Grim(m) - Unreal Stories for Real Times. This show, by the excellent Scottish-German storytelling company Louna Productions, is one hour of dark, surreal retellings of Grimm's tales, interwoven with Scottish folk tales.

Storytellers / actors Anna Lehr and Louisa Thornton narrate all the stories and play all the roles, slipping seamlessly from old queen to young boy to old woodcutter to weaver and back again. They have a very engaging style, with a sly humour that pervades even the darkest elements of the stories. The weird undercurrents of violence and obsession with baking people into black puddings comes directly from the Grimm Brothers and pervade all the stories that interweave through this compelling and darkly magical show. 

There are wonderful moments too, my favourite being a young boy's unexpected reaction to two funerals. I won't spoil the moment by saying any more....

The staging is excellent, good lighting, fun costumes and props. The venue in fact is overall, excellent (except the chairs are a bit uncomfortable!). The venue also has a cafe, which I've heard serves excellent chocolate muffins, but we were too late arriving to have time for coffee, unfortunately!

Grim(m) - Unreal Stories for Real Times - showing at Greenside, 10pm tonight is the last show!

Greenside are giving away tickets to one new Twitter follower every day, so if you're on Twitter, please follow GreensideVenue.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Architectural Silhouette

I snapped this photo of St Pauls and St Georges Church in Edinburgh today on the way back from a lovely morning of birdwatching in Musselburgh (via picking up my tickets for Edinburgh Foodie Festival (which I had won in a Facebook competition!) from Real Foods in Broughton Street).

As ever, coloured text contains hyperlinks which take you to other pages, where you can find out more.