Review: Word Soup #4 @ New Continental

Posted on - 31st July, 2009 - 10:42am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Tringe, What's On in Preston

Open mic reader at Wordsoup #4

Word Soup is Preston’s live lit night and this month’s was bigger than ever. Not only was it part of the Preston Tringe Festival and recorded for Preston FM and Diversity FM, but it had the biggest turn out so far. If you weren’t able to make it, here’s what you missed…

The night kicked off with Sally Murray, a musician from Manchester, who wowed the crowd with her beautiful voice and chilled out songs. And when there was a sound issue, she showed her sense of humour.

First reader of the night was Richard Hulse, a teetotal short fiction writer, who started the evening’s tenuous connections to the booze theme. His funny and original short story charted a man’s brand new relationship, jealousy and break up in the minutes it takes him, and his new girlfriend, to fall to their deaths from a plane crash.

Next was Simon Baker, a teacher and compere of Lancaster Spotlight Club, who read a gritty and angry piece about life in a small town and a night out from hell. His odious protagonist eventually met his match in an equally small town bouncer.

Tim Woodall, a fiction and non fiction writer who claims he writes self obsessed stories around exactly the same themes (his words not mine), read a piece called booze. It featured a journalist with alcoholic tendencies walking through Soho.

After the break Jenn Ashworth compere extraordinaire, in shiny shiny shoes, introduced the second half of the night and the return of the three minute open mic slots.

The brave open mic slot readers were:

* Max Henry, who read Win Them and Wear. He blogs at Tell Me Again About Typhoon Patsy.

* Chris Billington, who read her poetry based on Greek myths and cider. She is an active member of Preston Poets

* Cynthia Kitchen, who read three poems based on booze and a recovering alcoholic

* Peter Crompton, read poetry on the theme of booze and violence. Stood out for being a passionate and stand out performer and writes at Write Out Loud.

* Terry Quinn, who read his piece, The Asylum seeker. He also works for Preston FM and blogs at Broadgate Is Great.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any more information about them. I’m going to blame it on the booze and say that I was staying on message for the evening, but seriously, if you were one of the open micers, let me know your full name and titles of what you wrote and I’ll endeavour to promote you from mystery readers.

Mollie Baxter couldn’t make the event but Norman Hadley from Garstang read in her place. He read Poets Anonymous from his third collection, Perspectives. He also read a poem about diving through a sunken village which he read entirely from memory. This really impressed and marked him out as one of the evening’s most engaging performers.

Richard Hirst, author of previous Word Soup success, Dear Millipede, and blog I thought I told you to wait in the car provided free postcard artwork for the event and read a piece about the leader of the BNP being captured by slug moles and having to live underground digging tunnels. It was every bit as surreal as it sounds, as funny as his last outing and I’m sure will not be his last.

The final performer of the night was star guest, Nicholas Royle, writer, critic, and blogger who read from his upcoming novel. The first section dealt with airline conspiracy stories and whether the brace position actually works. The second section twisted to become a post modern discussion of a Manchester Lit Event.

Let us know if you were at Word Soup on Tuesday in the comments box below and what you thought of it. There is no Word Soup next month because it is the holidays, however it will be back in September.

If you are interested in performing in one of the three minute open mic slots email The event was hosted by Preston Writing Network and They Eat Culture.

Image credit to James Brunton

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