Please come and join us for the exciting launch of KIOTA: A Collective For POC Creatives in Bristol. The launch will showcase 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!

Line-up TBC

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)

Blahblahblah: Theresa Lola and Jess Green (Plus Support)

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

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 and has been shortlisted for the 2017 Bridport Poetry Prize, 2016 London Magazine Poetry Prize, and her poem Portrait of Us As Snow White was highly commended for the 2016 Charles Causley Competition judged by Andrew Motion. She won the 2017 Hammer and Tongue National Slam after a two-day finale at the Royal Albert Hall. She has performed across the UK and internationally.

2018 BBC Slam Champion, Jess Green is performance poet and playwright who has performed at Glastonbury, Latitude, Bestival and the Edinburgh Fringe. Her first show, Burning Books, received 5* reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe and on its national tour. 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’.

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.

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.


‘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, please inform the box office when booking if you would like a reserved seat
Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)