Extract of the Extract

December 5, 2010

This morning, I am skipping quite happily between doing last night’s dishes and watching Cash in the Attic – where Edwina Curry and her husband are trying to persuade us that their 5 bed mansion with numerous reception rooms in Surrey is perfectly normal. I’ve also been thinking about yesterday.

It was a really good day: the weather wasn’t quite as cold, it was Saturday and I and Dave Dhonau, the cellist on The Venus Papers, met up at The Y Theatre to perform some poetry ahead of the show next weekend.

We’d been asked to do so by The Y Theatre, who’d been asked to put some people forward by Leicester City Council. Roadworks at the top of Granby Street had just been removed and there had been lots of snow, so a stage had been put up and a list of performers pressed into action. As a result, the crowds of bemused Christmas shoppers, wandering in and out of the city centre were met by troupes of drummers, elves on stilts and the fabulous Rob Gee, stand-up poet and host with the most, striding about like Richard O’Brian’s evil twin. In a good way, of course.

Before going on did a quick run through at The Y, and there the loveliness began. There appeared to be some kind of open day going on, so there was tea and coffee in abundance (always a good sign) and in the main theatre, what seemed like a grotto. We drank delicious tea, wondered at the panto props, stood in front of the heater, then headed outside.

After a very short wait we were introduced to perform, just after a drumming set and just before a group of musicians from Kalal – a nearby restaurant. In some ways it was quite odd as the audience was mostly on the move, but what was nice was the way a lot of people stopped and really listened.

We did ‘Girl Walks into a Bar’, ‘Venus Speaks’ and ‘Love Poem to a Polar Bear’. I wore my shiny red Chinese Jacket and my old man’s flat cap, secure in the knowledge that my father had once referred to the latter as being ‘very smart’.

Dave was brilliant and the weather, again, very fortunate. His cello’s about 200 years old and if it’d started to rain then he’d have had to pack it away, even if we’d been mid poem. But it hadn’t, so he didn’t – even though within 20 minutes of finishing we sat watching drizzle from inside a tiny cafe, just down the road.

Keith the Filmmaker also came down – with Kye and Curtis, his 10/11 year old assistants, who’d worked tirelessly on The Lyric Lounge festival over summer. Together they recorded the whole thing, so with any luck I should be able to post it up soon. ..

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