Rob Auton: The Hair Show

A show for anyone who has, or has had, hair and hairs.

Dave’s Funniest Joke Of The Fringe award winner and Glastonbury’s ‘Poet In Residence’, Rob Auton casts an introspective eye over the world of hair, underpinned by leaving his head hair and beard to their own devices until he has performed The Hair Show for the final time. Join Rob as he explores the importance of appearance and how people react to someone who looks like he has checked out.

For the past five years Rob has used his command of words and distinctive unconventional humour to explore seemingly mundane subjects: sleep, water, faces, the sky and the colour yellow. His unique world view has been acknowledged through being shortlisted for the prestigious Spoken Word Award by the Arts Foundation, receiving a Best Short Film nomination for the The Peamaster, which he co-wrote and starred in, at the Milan Film Festival.

Alongside performing solo, Rob hosts “the best poetry gig in the UK” (The Times) Bang Said The Gun. The spoken-word night’s raucous and anarchic spirit attracts a rich mix of new talent and some of the most established names in poetry/music including Kate Tempest, Roger McGouch and John Hegley.

“A genuine original.”
Guardian

“One of my absolute favourites.”
Daniel Kitson

“His absurd brand of stand-up and poetry is exactly what the country needs right now.”
Huffington Post

“Charming, eccentric and uplifting, Auton is a talent to watch.”
Independent

“I haven’t seen anything else quite like it, or him.”
The Stage

Blahblahblah: Adam Kammerling – Shall We Take This Outside?

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I have to hit him.
In the face.
But there is no anger inside me right now.
Just a gut full of fear.
Heroes are usually pretty handy in a scrap. And when heroes fight, they win. And stuff gets sorted.

Adam has to look out for his brothers. He’s the eldest. He’s a good guy so he’ll be fine. Good guys don’t get beaten up. Good guys win. That’s how it works.

But once you’ve learned the language of violence, how do you stop speaking it?

Shall We Take This Outside is a unique and visceral fusion of spoken word and dance. National Slam Champion, Adam Kammerling, teams up with real life dance superhumans, Eric Mitchell and Jacob Smart, to explore the effect of hero behaviour on real-world attitudes to violence.

Blahblahblah: Laurie Bolger, Debris Stevenson and Arielle John

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An evening of legends! Laurie Bolger, host of London’s infamous BANG Said the Gun spoken word nights brings her powerful verse to the stage alongside Debris Stevenson, self-described social carrier pigeon who has shared her stories around the world. Plus Arielle John: The Trinidadian native is a writer, arts educator and cultural research student. Through poetry and performance, Arielle works to make sense of her postcolonial positioning, by attempting to translate how Caribbean people have adapted to and survived their subjection.

“If these poems could hug me, it’d be the biggest, warmest, squeeziest, most heartfelt hug I could imagine. A few tears perhaps”
HOLLY MCNISH on Laurie Bolger

Blahblahblah: Salena Godden, Molly Naylor and Isaiah Hull

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Salena Godden is one of the UK’s foremost poets, regularly anthologised and headlining festivals nationally and internationally. Fresh off her ‘Summer of LOVEwire’ UK tour, catch Godden sharing some of her brilliant new work for an Autumnal celebration of spoken word. Sharing the stage will be poet and performer Molly Naylor, co-writer of After Hours (Sky One), and Isaiah Hull, emerging and writer and performer from Manchester.

“As electric as its title”
★★★★★ THE I on Salena Godden’s LIVEwire album

Blahblahblah: Thick Richard: Swear School – Blah Humbug’s Anti-Christmas Special!

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A fast-paced crash course in everything you wanted to know about bad language that school couldn’t teach you. Join the class of sinister puppets as punk poet Thick Richard looks at the history, definition and use of swearing in his darkly humorous, educational show.

Pedalling his potty-mouthed poems, cynical, lyrical and jet-black humour, Thick Richard’s Swear School will drag us through an A-Z of the English language and the funniest yet most damaging expressive form of communication we have. Very, VERY strong language throughout!

A support for Kate Tempest, Arthur Smith and The Fall, you might also recognise him as one of the presenters of BBC 6 Music’s Beat of the Day.

Rachel McCrum & Caroline Bird

Award-winning poets and performers Rachel McCrum and Caroline Bird have teamed up for a double-headliner spoken word tour!

Caroline Bird -In These Days of Prohibition (Carcanet Press, July 2017)
In her fifth collection of poetry Caroline Bird surrenders her poetic weaponry and goes on a quest to write the ‘simple truth’. The surreal imagery of her early work is re-deployed to venture into the badlands of the human psyche. Her poems hold their subjects in an unflinching grip, addressing faces behind the veneer, asking what it is that keeps us living. In These Days of Prohibition are days of intoxication and inebriation, rehab in a desert and adultery for atheists, until finally Bird edges us out of danger, ‘revving on a wish’.

“What an original captivating and spellbinding voice. Bird is fearless like ‘the girl who dropped her ice-cream down a volcano and leaped in after it’. She is dangerous and witty too with a rare quality of imagination. This is a wonder.”
Lemn Sissay

Artist’s Website

Rachel McCrum -The First Blast To Awaken Women Degenerate (Freight Books, June 2017)
The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate is the eagerly anticipated debut collection from the award-winning Rachel McCrum. Recognised as one of Scotland’s highest profile poets and performers and co-founder of cult spoken word night Rally & Broad, her first collections asks questions of displacement and of the elasticity of space; of human defensivenes and of animal aggression; of inertia and movement: of threat and of resistance. What happens when we raise our voices? What happens when we are no longer heard?

“This is angry poetry, hungry poetry but never lean, mean poetry – she salivates and slavers, at times stretching language almost to breaking point, stuffing it full till it’s almost spilling through the slits in meaning, the five sound senses singing out generous, gargantuan and gorgeous in lists and litanies, polemics and parables; this is poetry that performs itself on the page out loud and proud – then can turn on a sixpence and stop the heart with a sudden, spare moment of naked vulnerability and tenderness.”
Liz Lochhead

“Rachel McCrum’s debut poetry collection, The First Blast to Awaken Women Degenerate, is bold yet sensitive, effervescent yet sincere, placing emphasis on the voices of women and their strength, rage and vulnerabilities.”
★★★★ The List

“McCrum has been a champion of live literature in Scotland, and her poems – irreverent, heart-wrenching, rallying – have etched themselves into the literary landscape of the country she has now left behind.”
★★★★ The Skinny

How I Came To Be Where I Never Was

This is a story about being the first punk in the village and the only trainspotter in eyeliner. About unrequited love and youth club and John Peel and the forgotten gods of small record shops. An energetic and uplifting show about the small things in life, fusing elements of theatre, storytelling, comedy, ‘stand-up poetry’ (think John Cooper-Clarke not John Keats) and even a bit of ukulele.

How do you find yourself when you find yourself where you don’t belong? Jonny Fluffypunk grew up in the far-flung, forgotten reaches of outer suburbia. This is a show about trains and memory and letting go. This is a new lo-fi stand-up spoken word theatre show for anyone who has ever loved, owned a vinyl record or just been alive.

“Acute social observation, intricate humour, surreal fantasy, sharp irony and wit.”
The Independent

“Sublime… well-crafted, tender and life-affirming. Highly recommended.”
FringeReview

“This man truly relishes language. Go see him.”
Tony Allen (‘the godfather of alternative comedy’)

Jonny Fluffypunk is a writer and performer who has been dragging his art around the spoken word and alternative cabaret circuits for over 15 years. A regular at gigs and festivals across the country, he has previously toured his show Man Up, Jonny Fluffypunk: One Man’s Struggle With Late Onset Responsibility and has two volumes of writing out with Burning Eye Books. Produced in partnership with Strike A Light and supported by Bristol Old Vic Ferment.

The Toll by Luke Wright

Featuring a selection of poems from The Toll (Penned In The Margins, 2017) this show tours the flat-roofed pubs and half-bought couches of Brexit Britain. It struggles with doubt, duty and a score of half-cut nights spent shouting impotently at Question Time. Spend an evening with a raconteur at the top of his game, as he spits out visceral, inventive verse that sweats, bleeds and sings.

“Visceral, poignant, and riotously funny.”
Scotsman

“A rip-roaring raconteur, evoking a Larkin-esque sense of commuter belt ennui.”
Metro

“Cool poems.”
Patti Smith

“On just the second date of a long tour we enjoyed a sustained and polished performance from a man at the top of his game. Keep your eyes and ears open – Luke Wright has a lot more to say!”
★★★★★ Norwich Eye

“The Toll is a razor dipped in sugar: Although Wright’s heart might have taken a battering of late, it is clear that it is still generous, and the caustic line of humour that runs right through it like a black thread, only adds to its character.”
Norwich Radical

The Harry & Chris Show 2

After sell-out runs of their 2016 and 2017 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, Harry Baker and Chris Read bring their unique mix of comedy, melody, poetry and best-matery to venues nationwide! Making comedy-jazz-rap a thing, their songs range from panda repopulation to coming of age to Robot Wars, and they bring love and laughter to a world that needs both more than ever.

“A wonderful blend of infectious songs packed with sharp, clever wordplay… Harry and Chris’ family friendly set leaves the audience with a smile on their face and the catchy tunes stuck in their head for the rest of the day.”
★★★★★ The Sunday Post

“The numbers are upbeat and feel-good, and all of them are about surprising and inventive subjects or points of view.”
★★★★★ Fringe Guru

“Blistering wordplay.”
★★★★★ ThreeWeeks on Harry Baker

“Brilliant.”
Evening Standard on Chris Read

Beethoven’s 4 Seasons with Wild Words

A Ludwig van Beethoven rollercoaster of drama and daring, triumph and trauma, from the shadows of his father to the guiding love of his mother, from losing his hearing to the Ode to Joy. Meet Mozart, the pink wigs of Vienna and a dancing puppet all wrapped up in Wild Words’ trademark magical invention.

Playshop 2pm – Learn a song to sing and make a puppet to star in the show, plus ‘Meet the Instruments’ from strings to brass to accordion (40 minutes)
Performance 3pm – Show Time (55 minutes)
After the show come on stage to meet, ask questions and play some instruments, including hosepipe trumpets!

BSL Interpreted Playshop and Performance on August 23rd
With the help of the Bristol Deaf Centre Family Centre

“An intoxicating mix of sound and story to leave a magical world lingering in the minds of their young audience for a very long time.”
Catherine Freda, Head of Education at St George’s Bristol

“Loved the performance, the acting and music were splendid. The message about his deafness was beautifully done.”
Audience Reaction

“Thank you for such a rich, touching, sad-joyful occasion. Musical accomplishment and participation – you have all the bases covered. A dramatic delight.”
Audience Reaction

Michael Loader – storyteller, storywriter and flugel horn
Alison Francis Black – violin
 and voice
Martin Solomon – violin, harp, accordion and piano
Caitlin Alais Callahan – piano, flute and bass

Dedicated to my special friend Henry, ‘the Boy with Spirit’ and my Mum who opened my ears to Beethoven.