Story Slam Presents: Lightning Round

For those who have been to our main show before, you will know that between hearing live stories told up on stage, we also hear short anonymous stories written by the audience and read out by the host. These short anonymous stories are often so funny, touching, sad, thought provoking, original and exciting, that we thought we would try dedicating a whole show to them.

Come join us on March 31st to share your anonymous stories with a live audience. Have you got a hilarious short story you wouldn’t be confident enough to say on stage? Maybe something that you just want to get off your chest? Or something you just want to share? Perhaps you’ve got a question for the host, or the audience, or just need some advice? Come put your anonymous few lines in the hat and see what comes out..

This is an experimental show, so expect a quicker, shorter and more chaotic atmospheres then at our normal shows. The entire show will be made up of anonymous snippets written by the audience. Please bear in mind that Story Slam shows are completely live and unscripted so we are never quite sure what we are going to hear.

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Blahblahblah & Milk Poetry: Rainbow Milk

After the incredible sold-out success of last year at The Room Above, Rainbow Milk returns to kick off Bristol Pride with style!

A multicoloured queer edition of one of Bristol’s leading poetry nights, presented in collaboration with Bristol Pride. Showcasing the very best, fresh and calcium enriched poetry from around the UK featuring a handpicked selection of some of the most exciting and eclectic LGBTQ+ voices.

Lovingly curated by Milk Poetry and Blahblahblah and hosted by Tom Denbigh. In turns touching, funny, rallying and empowering, Rainbow Milk is a celebration of queer identities and lives.

“A buzzing atmosphere and a wonderful night for all!”
Bristol Pride

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Blahblahblah & Milk Poetry: And Here’s Your Host

A rare chance to see proper poetry sets from the hosts of Blah and Milk, Anna Freeman, Malaika Kegode and Beth Calverley.

Anna Freeman is the (cynical, funny) host of Blahblahblah. She’s also a novelist, creative writing lecturer at Bath Spa University, the host of Radio 4’s Sketches and a multiple slam winning poet. Malaika Kegode’s work is beautiful and deeply personal. She’s the former host of Exeter’s Spokes Amaze, the founder and host of Bristol’s Milk Poetry, the author of Requite, published by Burning Eye Books, and has worked with BBC 1Xtra and the Roundhouse. Beth Calverley writes moving, uplifting word magic. She’s one of the hosts of Milk Poetry, the chief operator of poetry-on-demand event The Poetry Machine and was the inaugural Gloucester Regional Roundhouse Slam winner.

And feature sets from two brilliant poets who are also known to do a spot of hosting, Chris White and Deanna Rodger. Deanna Rodger’s work is full of astute observation and brilliantly delivered. Featured as one of ELLE UK magazine’s “30 Inspirational Women Under 30”, she is a former UK Poetry Slam Champion and one of the hosts of London’s Chill Pill. Chris White is the (hilarious, super-smart) current Exeter Slam Champion, an associate artist of Theatre Royal Plymouth and the host of Exeter’s Spork! Poetry nights.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Shall We Take This Outside by Adam Kammerling

Violence solves nothing.
NB. (Except in films, TV, books, comics, games and pretty much every corner of culture where heroes exist)

A considered and impactful work, Shall We Take This Outside is Adam Kammerling’s exploration of his own violence, where it found him, why he embraced it, and how it affects him today. As Adam moves through his memories, we discover the myriad ways that violence bleeds into everyday real-life, from hierarchies in the classroom, pub and street, to flippant rejections of any social movement deemed a threat to the status quo.

A spoken word theatre piece animated by two acrobatic dancers; Si Rawlinson and Emma Houston give physical form to the stories, manipulating Adam and the space, and bringing a visual impact that spoken word simply cannot do alone. The soundtrack is equal parts classic pomp and heroism, and electronic, grime-inspired instrumentals, a reference to both the content of the show, and to Adam’s background as an MC.

A massive development for Adam, Shall We Take This Outside is a huge step from the spoken word circuit into longer forms, and a full collaboration with physical artists has been a long time coming. The subject matter and the form marry to create an amorphous space from which explosions of physical activity burst, and then swiftly spiral back into the simpler focus of spoken word poetry and storytelling.

Shall We Take This Outside was made with the kind support of Arts Council England, The Albany, Apples And Snakes and CALM
Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)


An internationally award-winning modern retelling of an ancient myth.

Dave is single and turning 30. He’s stood at the bar. Eurydice is a tree nymph. And Bruce Springsteen is on the juke box. A tale of impossible, death-defying love told through hair-raising spoken word and soaring soul music. The Flanagan Collective and Gobbledigook Theatre weave a world of dive bars, side streets and ancient gods.

WINNER Best Theatre, Fringe World
WINNER Best Theatre Award, Adelaide Fringe
WINNER Summerhall Award, Vault Festival

“A true gem of a show who’s praise I want to sing from the rooftops.”
★★★★★ VoiceMag

“Charming, uplifting… simple storytelling at its finest.”
★★★★ The Advertiser

“An experience not to be missed.”
★★★★★ The Clothesline

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)


Join us for KIOTA: A Collective For POC Creatives in Bristol, showcasing people of colour (POC) or BAME creatives from various artistic disciplines in a fantastic afternoon of performance followed by networking opportunities. We are building this supportive space to offer an opportunity to share, learn and network with other POC creatives whether emerging, established or anything in between! So, if that describes you or you simply want to enjoy the variety of wonderful performances, come along! The performers will be POC but all are welcome to come and watch!

Vanessa Kisuule
Dikra Radha
Saili Katebe
Deborah Ward
Pravanya Pillay
Deepraj Singh
Tanya Muneera Pilgrim
With hosts (co-creators of Kiota) Shagufta Iqbal and Aisha Ali. See Facebook event page for full details of each artist.
Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Blahblahblah: Dead or Alive Slam

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

Witness a battle of words and wit as three of the UK’s leading – and very much alive – slam poets challenge three of the UK’s most beloved, celebrated, and sadly dead poets (brought back to life by actors). The audience will judge – is poetry dead? Let’s find out. No Ouija boards needed.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Blah at Bristol Poetry Festival: Brilliant Women

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

So we’re ten days late for International Women’s Day? That’s okay, it’ll be like when my birthday goes on and on and I’m hungover for a month.

We’re delighted to have Theresa Lola, Jess Green, Rebecca Tantony and support from some of Bath Spa University’s up and coming talent.

Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian poet, events programmer, workshop facilitator and accountant. She is the joint winner of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, was shortlisted for the Bridport Poetry Prize and London Magazine Poetry Prize, and won the 2017 Hammer and Tongue National Slam after a two-day finale at the Royal Albert Hall.

2018 BBC Slam Champion, Jess Green has performed at Glastonbury, Latitude, Bestival and the Edinburgh Fringe. Her first show, Burning Books, received 5* reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe. The theatre adaptation of Burning Books was longlisted for the Bread & Roses Theatre Award 2016. Her second poetry and music show, A Self Help Guide To Being In Love With Jeremy Corbyn, was described by Corbyn himself as ‘fantastic’.

Rebecca Tantony is the author of Talk You Round Till Dusk; (Burning Eye, 2015) and All The Journeys I Never Took (Burning Eye, 2017).
She is currently teaching the Performance Poetry Module and general Creative Writing to BA students at Bath Spa University.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Blahblahblah: Ruth Cockburn – Love Letters From Blackpool

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

Twice nominated for best show at Leicester Comedy Fest and Manchester Fringe
Top 10 Shows to see at EdFringe 2018 Sunday Post

“Impossible not to be won over by this hosts charm.”
★★★★ One4Review

“She’s a real talent.”
★★★★ Broadway Baby

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

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. It’s guaranteed to be a riotous, rip-roaring and rollicking old time.


Travis Alabanza is a performer, writer and thinker. They have been noted by numerous publications including OUT.COM, Gay Times as one of the most influential new queer voices, their work has appeared in the Guardian, BBC, Huck Magazine, performed in venues such as The Tate, Roundhouse, Arnolfini, and their debut poetry book ‘Before I step Outside (you love me’) was noted one of the top trans literary books of 2017. Their latest theatre show ‘Burgerz’ opened to 5 and 4 star reviews, acclaim for Lyn gardner and a sell out two week run. Their performances noted by many, Alabanza is one not to miss.

Toby Campion is a UK National Poetry Slam Champion and a World Poetry Slam finalist. Recipient of the Silver Wyvern Award and First Place in the Poetry on the Lake Prizes 2017, awarded by Carol Ann Duffy, Toby has performed his poetry on stages across the UK, from Glastonbury Festival to London’s Royal Albert Hall, and in countries around the world, including America, Italy, Spain, Albania and South Korea. His debut play, WRECK, won the Fifth Word Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright 2015.

Caroline Teague is a London born and bred poet writing pieces on loss, identity and how she comes to terms with some harrowing realities of being human and being alive, in a style she calls ‘tragic optimism’ hoping that the honesty through her writing can translate into something positive and comforting for someone else.
Creator of the musical project “Caroline Smiling” which blends music, spoken word and other forms of communication to cross platforms for mental health and queer identity through creative means. A self proclaimed soft touch poet with some sharp edges.

Leilah Jane King is a half Iranian footballer and performance poet based in Bristol. She started writing in 2011 in Brighton where she previously lived and studied. She has performed at festivals such as Buddhafield, Bristol and Exeter Pride and Bristol Harbour Festival as well as on local radio and won a Milk Poetry slam in 2017. Leilah’s poetry slides into her Iranian heritage, experiences of prejudice, conflict and mental health. She has performed across the Bristol poetry scene and is an integral part of the city’s queer narrative.