Sunday 04th December

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Playerist Poets Live @ Poetry Cafe

| Art, Culture, Hidden London, Special Events | 18/03/2014

Denis Quilligan; illustration by Mario Herran; Skopje
Denis Quilligan; illustration by Mario Herran; Skopje

Some enchanted evening for ‘Playerist Poets Live’ at the Poetry Society in Covent Garden. Although the ‘Poetry Place’ was quite literally drank dry. More’s the pity when last time time had to be called; ‘more’ being the operative word next time.


The ‘Relationships’ theme got off to a flying start with a terrific introduction by Jillian Miller, enunciating John Donne to perfection. This followed the winsome folk melodies of the immensely talented Skopje whose sustained falsetto had already raised the bar. Then a most welcome return to the multi-talented Chris Sav. Mr Sav not only drew the quirky poster cartoon but proffered blistering balladry plus an unforgettable dining-room experience… Well-seasoned thespian Jean Apps orated an enlightened selection of works (ranging from Dorothy Parker to Leigh Hunt via Fleur Adcock) wholly engagingly. In another first, independent film-maker Chris Silver debutéd his brilliant poetry to a very appreciative audience. The delightful Tara Newton-Wordsworth thrilled with wondrous word-smithery in song, and a freshly-penned poem that jumped off the page.


Tara Newton-Wordsworth; illustration by Mario Herran; Jean Apps

Feminist commentator Piroksa Markus kicked-off the second act with her infamous rants, lapped up as always by an ever-eager house. ‘Playerist’ was again joined by Sarah Rayner whose writing retained a wistfully comedic edge, sometimes gentle, sometimes raspy; and by Sean Wai Keung who related his own versions or inversions of ‘sex in the city’. Both host their own spoken-word gatherings that are well worth checking out. Merriment ensued with actor and raconteur Denis Quilligan’s marvellous monologues in inimitable style. This fabulous Friday was, finally, brought to a well-crafted conclusion by the indomitable vocal and song-writing skills of Roots artiste Melissa James in an exclusive micro-set accompanied by the very gifted guitarist Tom Gamble.


Melissa James; illustration by Mario Herran; Chris Silver

Graphic artist Mario Herran created an intriguing installation depicting sassy speaker-creatures which provided many points of reference throughout the evening. The varied programme inevitably ran over but with such mastery on offer no one was complaining. ‘Playerist’ returns to the Poetry Cafe in Betterton Street in June, for its second Comedy Night, hosted by Jillian Miller. Due to demand for this lively and entertaining event, tickets will be made available – so keep updated via Facebook and Twitter.

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