Cecilia Knapp: Losing The Night

‘What would you say to him? If he was here? Right now? Drinking at this bar?’

A pub. A long shift. Two mates and a whole heap of unruly memories. How do we remember those who aren’t here anymore? Do we always put them on a pedestal? How do we find the language to talk about mental health and addiction? How do we carry on in the face of loss? Why does everyone want to leave their home town and what happens when you’re the one left behind?

Liam and Mitch haven’t seen each other since they lost Dylan. Trapped in a pub during a dead shift with nothing to do but wash glasses and eat Bombay mix, they start to dig deep into the past and try to get to the truth.

Cecilia Knapp is a poet, playwright and performer. She has performed all over the UK and internationally. Commissions include the TATE, The Guardian and the BBC and she has been featured in Vogue as one of the UK’s young poets to watch. She was shortlisted for the role of London Laureate in 2018 and longlisted for the 2019 Outspoken poetry prize. Her first show Finding Home was recently published by Burning Eye Books and toured the U.K. extensively. Her writing has been described as ‘light as a birds feather’ (Lyn Gardner). She is working on her first novel and her debut poetry collection. She is currently poet in residence at Great Ormond Street hospital and tutors the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. Her work often looks at how we confront the current mental health crisis in the UK by platforming stories that can often be sidelined, that breed empathy, challenge and start conversations. She believes in the transformative act of writing and sharing stories. She is an ambassador for the mental health charity C.A.L.M.

Supported by Arts Council England
Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Milk Poetry & Blahblahblah: If Music be the Food of Love…

Poetry and music are soul sisters. So, this December we’re bringing them together a poetic symphony to warm your cockles and your toes.

Grab yourself a mug of mulled wine and a mince pie from the Old Market Assembly bar and let our specially selected line up of musical poets and poetic musicians do their thing.

If music be the food of love, play on!

Milk Poetry selects the finest, freshest poets from the UK and beyond to produce the most nourishing and eclectic spoken word bonanza you could ever hope for!

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Milk Poetry presents: John Hegley

A special edition of Milk brings our friend John Hegley to The Wardrobe Theatre.

Performance poet, comedian and musician John Hegley is one of the pioneers of the British poetry scene. He’s been performing since the late 80s, from gracing the stage at The Comedy Store to becoming a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4.

Join us for a rare opportunity to see John in a more intimate setting, featuring poems and songs and all good things.

Plus support from Cardiff poet Sarah McCreadie, and our audience voted slam!

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Milk Poetry presents: Strong Bones

How do world-class poets evolve? What was their early work like? Who inspired them? Join Milk Poetry to celebrate journeys through writing.

Internationally-acclaimed performer and City Poet, Vanessa Kisuule, will be joined by Casey Bailey, Stephen Lightbown, and more. They will read from their early writing, covers that inspired them and recent work.

Vanessa Kisuule: “All good writing takes the reader/listener on a journey. Even if the destination is already known, the route is winding, strange and scenic.”

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Milk Poetry’s Moving in Party

Join Milk Poetry as they touch down in a brand-new venue. Presenting you with some top notch spoken word, balloons and the friendliest slam Bristol has to offer.

Featuring grime poet and theatre maker Debris Stevenson. From her 5-star rated run at The Royal Court for her show Poet in da Corner to her work mentoring young poets in over 25 countries, Debris is a poetic force to be reckoned with.

With support from Sean Colletti. Birmingham based, California born, Colletti is an emerging star of the poetry world.

Plus our famous audience voted slam, you choose the next poetry star!

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Loupe Theatre Presents

Sharp Teeth Presents is passing on the baton… The legacy of Sharp Teeth Presents will live on through the fresh-faced, eager beavers; Loupe Theatre Company, who are taking over these monthly Sundays from September 2019.

Each month Loupe will bring together performances from a collection of artists from the South West (and other places). From poetry and storytelling, to music and theatre, there will be something to tickle your fancy.

Check out line-ups online, and come on down for a pint or three and dip your toes into a exciting night full of art.

Our recommended donation is £5, but many people give more. Remember there is no cash point at The Wardrobe Theatre or immediately nearby.

Photo credit: Louis Smith
Running Time: 90 minutes (with interval)

Tony Walsh (plus special guest Stephen James Smith)

“Now a national hero” (The Guardian) having “stunned millions of people” (Huffington Post) with his iconic performance in Manchester in May 2017, international audiences are quickly discovering what has been an open secret for well over a decade: an evening with Tony Walsh is a rip-roaring rock and roller-coaster ride from a profoundly inspiring artist at the very top of his game.

Tony’s performance will including brand new and little heard poems from his eagerly awaited new collection, WORK | LIFE | BALANCE alongside some much-loved audience favourites. Tony’s poems have had over five million views online in 2018 alone.

Tony will be available for book signings after the show.

Stephen James Smith is a Dublin poet and playwright central to the rise of the vibrant spoken word scene in Ireland today. His poetry videos have amassed over 2.5 million views. In 2017 he was commissioned by St. Patrick’s festival to write a new poem as a “Celebratory Narrative” of Ireland. The resultant piece ‘My Ireland’ is accompanied by a short film which has been viewed over 300,000 times and was screened at the London film festival.

“Seriously amazing!”

“Stirring… stunning.”
TIME Magazine

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Luke Wright, Poet Laureate

There was a collective gnashing of teeth and beating of breasts across the land when Wrighty didn’t get the royal nod to take up the position of Poet Laureate this year. Still, he’s an irrepressible sort of chap, so he’s bought his own sherry and hit the road with the show the critics are calling his best yet.

Luke Wright is on a mission to write poems to unite a nation divided by austerity and Brexit. Can it be done? Can one poet ever really represent an entire nation?

Big-hearted and quick witted, Wright’s poems have been lauded by everyone from Patti Smith to The Libertines. A Fringe First and Stage Award winner, Wright is truly a wordsmith and raconteur at the top of his game.

“Fierce, wistful, romantic and witty by turns, this is a sensational hour of poetry.”
★★★★★ The Stage

“One of the funniest and most brilliant poets of his generation.”
The Independent

“Cool poems.”
Patti Smith

Commissioned by The Inn Crowd
Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

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)