Blah Humbug’s Queer Christmas

Showcasing the UK’s best spoken word performers, presented by Bristol Old Vic, Tangent Books and Anna Freeman – monthly Mondays

With the novelty knitwear out in force and blinding LEDs tarting up the streets, escape the festive foreplay with our annual Blah Humbug’s Christmas Special. This year we’ll be celebrating by bathing in the wit, wonder and wisdom of some of our favourite LGBT+ spoken word artists. Featuring the likes of Toby Campion and more, it’s guaranteed to be a riotous, rip-roaring and rollicking old time.

Stay tuned for the full line-up – to be announced soon!

Blahblahblah: White

Showcasing the UK’s best spoken word performers, presented by Bristol Old Vic, Tangent Books and Anna Freeman – monthly Mondays

The first in a trilogy of fully-devised shows from Roundhouse alumnus Koko Brown, WHITE explores the vital concept of mixed-race privilege and what it means to grow up a mixed-race woman in contemporary Britain. Expect clever and engaging original songs, vocal looping and deliciously current spoken word.

She is joined by UK Poetry Slam Champion Deanna Rodger, whose super smart, observational and brilliantly delivered spoken word has earned her a place on ELLE UK’s list of ‘30 Inspirational Women Under 30’.

Blahblahblah: Perseverance

Showcasing the UK’s best spoken word performers, presented by Bristol Old Vic, Tangent Books and Anna Freeman – monthly Mondays

Coinciding with the launch of his new book, Perseverance, “writer of colour to watch out for” (The Fader) Raymond Antrobus returns to the Blah podium with his graceful and finely crafted lyricism. Taking the stage alongside him is international slam-winning poet Shruti Chauhan, whose intoxicating words recently won her the National Poetry Library’s Instapoetry Competition 2018.

Additional support from Tom Denbigh, one of our favourite new Bristol voices.

Blahblahblah: Stand Up and Slam

Showcasing the UK’s best spoken word performers, presented by Bristol Old Vic, Tangent Books and Anna Freeman – monthly Mondays

Following an uproarious showcase at Blah’s Big Weekend 2017, we’re excited to welcome back Stand Up and Slam for a much-anticipated encore this September.

In an epic battle of spoken word, six phenomenal acts will go head-to-head for your approval as poetry and comedy collide with unexpected and hilarious results. Who wins? You decide…

“A complete and utter winner.”
★★★★★ The Reviews Hub

Blah’s Big Weekend: The Poetry Machine

Featuring some of the biggest names in spoken word, Blah’s Big Weekend returns this June for three days jam-packed with alliteration, assonance, metaphor and rhyme at its finest

Tap, clatter, ping! Follow the patter of typewriter keys to discover The Poetry Machine, creating beautiful live poetry before and after the Harry & Chris show. Simply give The Poetry Machine a word or idea and receive a free poem, created before your very eyes in just a few minutes. Beth Calverley, ‘The Poetry Machine’, will read it aloud and give you the typewritten poem to take home.

Sexy

‘Oi, you. Sentient flesh owner. I have some questions for you. Do you think you’re sexy? What do you find sexy? What does sexy even mean?’

As a young woman who loves poetry, smashing the patriarchy and a well timed slut drop, this has been a question that has plagued Vanessa her whole life. Sexy uses truthful wit and clever verse to explore our conflicted relationship with our bodies and sexiness, exploring our obsession with what is sexy through comedy, spoken word, dance and various states of undress.

Vanessa Kisuule is a writer, performer, burlesque artists and general empress of blag, based in Bristol. She has won several slam titles including the Hammer & Tongue National Slam and Roundhouse Poetry Slam. She has performed at an array of festivals, including Glastonbury and Secret Garden Party and has been invited to support the likes of Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kate Tempest, Dizraeli and David J. You may have seen her ‘alter ego’ Shonda Rhymes, smashing the patriarchy through the world of battle rap league Don’t Flop. Vanessa is the recipient of the 2017 Leverhulme Arts Scholarship.

Directed by Rob Watt with Movement by Lucy Bairstow, Produced by Liz Counsell

Saturday’s performance will be BSL interpreted
Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

The Dizziness of Freedom: Book Launch

Shortlisted for Most Innovative Publisher in the 2018 Saboteur Awards, Bad Betty Press presents a night of live poetry to celebrate the launch of their ground-breaking anthology on mental health, supported by Arts Council England. The Dizziness of Freedom showcases compelling, strange, beautiful and startlingly honest stories about mental health, written by 50 of contemporary poetry’s most exciting voices.

This launch features live sets from a few of the book’s contributors including Deanna Rodger, Jolade Olusanya and Kathryn O’Driscoll. Hosted by Jake Wild Hall and Malaika Kegode (Milk Poetry).

The Dizziness of Freedom came about to encourage conversation about mental health, help break taboos and challenge stigma. Contributors include Lemn Sissay MBE, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Rob Auton, Mona Arshi, Caleb Femi, Mary Jean Chan, Luke Kennard and R.A. Villanueva.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Harry & Chris Save The World

After sell-out runs of their 2016 and 2017 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, Harry Baker and Chris Read have been featured three times on ‘The Russell Howard Hour’ (Sky) and have been touring regularly around the UK. Last year they prevented a apocalypse and got a panda pregnant, so they are now drunk on comedy-rap-jazz power, intent on bringing love and laughter to a world that needs both more than ever.

“Amazing, fabulously entertaining.”
Jonathan Ross

“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

“The pair are inspiring Instagram posts in human form.”
Chortle

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Blah’s Big Weekend: Young Blah Showcase

Featuring some of the biggest names in spoken word, Blah’s Big Weekend returns this June for three days jam-packed with alliteration, assonance, metaphor and rhyme at its finest

Following our decade-long success of Blahblahblah, we are excited to invite you to our Young Blah showcase. A host of the brightest emerging talent in the South West. Featuring Jasmine Gardosi (BBC Radio 3’s The Verb and Birmingham Poet Laureate).

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Blah’s Big Weekend: Poets vs MCs

Featuring some of the biggest names in spoken word, Blah’s Big Weekend returns this June for three days jam-packed with alliteration, assonance, metaphor and rhyme at its finest

Collaborating with Raise the Bar and Poets vs MCs, we’ll be pitting a team of rappers and poets against each other to bring you Brighton’s infamous battle of wits. Join us as we smash stereotypes in an event which combines the UK’s sharpest and most unusual collective of lyrical warriors.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)