Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sarah Thomasin - Speak Easy 23/03/10

Legend in her own mind Sarah Thomasin is next up, and having compered the first half for us we welcome her back to the stage. After a subtle plug for another Sheffield spoken word night called Vox ( if youre interested, which you should be if you like Speak Easy then Vox should be right up your alley), she reads us a variety of satirical poems, concerning current news stories. The one about Nelson Mandela meeting Jeremy Clarkson is particularly brilliant (find the news story Sarah refers to here Shes always entertaining, and shes here every month, so if you liked these poems you should attend the next Speak Easy event. Details on our Facebook group page

John Cornwell - Speak Easy 23/03/10

Another returning performer this month is John Cornwell, who is pretty much a regular feature now, much to our delight. This time he has a couple of poems which present a frivolous, irreverent view of international relations, the first of which is titled Dont Hide from Me, Argentina. He pokes fun at every conspiracy youve ever heard of, suggesting that theres a village just south of the River Plate where celebrities are innumerable. John tells us his second poem is about his birthday, which is coming up soon (we wish him many happy returns), and its just as funny as the first one. If love was an underlying theme all through Februarys Speak Easy event, then getting older holds a special place in Marchs, having been brought up by multiple performers which, we must say, is extremely appropriate as it is Speak Easys birthday too! We look forward to another year as good as this one.

Gary Hughes - Speak Easy 23/03/10

The wonderful if confusing Gary Hughes, last months featured poet, also makes his return for the one year anniversary of Speak Easy. After a slightly migraine inducingly complex performance last month we waited with bated breath for him, and hes again brilliantly funny and enigmatic.

He opens with a pop culture reference I actually got, explaining that his first poem was inspired by the incredible Bill Hicks who is sadly gone from us. Hicks famous this is your brain...this is your brain on drugs routine has led Gary to its logical conclusion, resulting in a poem that turns our brain into trifle. This is my favourite Gary Hughes poem as its clever enough to fit into his high brow cannon, yet simple enough for me to understand whats going on. Fortunately his performances are always so strong that anyone can enjoy them even if you dont get all the references, and consequently hes always a high point of the evening. His second (and last) poem is more of a narrative than were used to seeing from him, but is just as amusing and irreverent. Hopefully Gary will return next time to confound us further.

Owen - Speak Easy 23/03/10

Following Geraint Owen we have...Owen (no relation obviously), who had an excellent showing at the February Speak Easy, and repeats the trick again here. He has four very short poems for us today, and theyre all more than good enough for us to want him back next month too. Unscrewed, Laws of Extraction, The Rough End of the Sponge and In a Battle are variously giggle worthy and sinister (sometimes both), but all of them are pretty clever.

The rather amusing The Rough End of the Sponge is a personal favourite of mine Owen explains to us that its about living in a house full of slobs, which Im sure most people who have been to university can relate to. I can, but it seems that Owen didnt just give up like I did. I didnt write a poem about it either, but I know that if I had, I would have wanted to email John Turner ( to book a slot at Speak Easy so I could read it. Or maybe Id have just turned up on the night and read it anyway. My poem wouldnt have been very funny though, like Owens is, which is why Im leaving it to you guys to do it.

Geraint - Speak Easy 23/03/10

Geraint is probably fed up of us mispronouncing his name every time he comes but he cant be that bothered because he keeps coming back and we enjoy his performance every time. I dont think Ive got a single pop culture reference at Speak Easy (I must have led a very sheltered life), but whether its about the Wire, the Blues Brothers, or anything else I havent seen, Im still struck by the quality of the performances, and Geraint is a great example of this. He reads six short poems about anger, from different perspectives, such as that of the angry drunk, or the angry partner, though he assures us that hes not an angry person himself.

He tells us he commissioned himself to write the next poem, to commemorate his friend Bobs birthday. He uses words that rhyme with Bob that begin with every letter of the alphabet, and I dont want to spoil anything for you, but its so good and performed so well that its a definite highlight of the night, and simply a must see. He mentions Blackadder Ive seen that! Geraints got one more poem for us, about swimming at night, which perfectly caps an excellent performance.

Mutah - Speak Easy 23/03/10

Here at Speak Easy we enjoy poetry on all themes from all traditions, so whatever you want to say, however you want to say it, well welcome you to the stage. Following on from Rich we have another first time reader, Mutah, who demonstrates this to great effect, with two tuneful poems.

In his introduction, Mutah tells us he is a Bantu lyricist (, and his first poem Collisions is about physics. Equally insightful and intriguing is a second poem about his friend, which has a somewhat political bent. He delivers a fairly short set, but it is very enjoyable, and his warm and friendly manner adds a great deal to it. We hope to hear him perform for us again soon.

Whether you do Physics, English, Social Studies, Horse Care or nothing at all (or all of the above), wed like to hear your thoughts on it at our next event. Information can be found on our Facebook groups page or our Twitter page Contact John ( to book a five minute slot, or just turn up on our doorstep and well throw you straight onto the stage. In the nicest possible way.

Rich - Speak Easy 23/03/10

Second act of the second half is Rich, a first time reader here at Speak Easy, though we hope hell come back again some time soon. He has a short poem for us on a theme that everyone can relate to mothers. Its a very humorous look at what our mums tell us all throughout our lives. Rich performs very well, and though he seems quiet and nervous at first he is really enjoying himself by the end, as is everyone else. This is a very short video, but its definitely worth watching at least once.

Are you Rich? Do you want to come back and read again? Are you not Rich, and want to come and read for us anyway? Then contact John on, or just show up on the night and well do our best to fit you in. You get five minutes to fill in pretty much any way you want to, so use your imagination. We look forward to your call.