Paid opportunity for emerging artist

Opportunity for an emerging artist in the field of performance/spoken word/interactive theatre/live art to work alongside me and Peader Kirk during the creation of a new one person show for family audiences, and to then perform some of the shows during the run at an internationally recognised venue.

Together me and Peader create work that fuses contemporary storytelling, high-end poetry, digital technologies and interactive staging. Our work tours nationally and has had sell out runs at London’s Southbank Centre and the Albany, Deptford, as well as featuring at Bush Theatre as part of new writing festival Radar.

“Awesome” – 4.5 stars, Huffington Post.

We are looking for someone who has skills in:

  • Storytelling
  • Physical performance
  • Working for young audiences
  • Creating a dialogue/rapport with an audience

Your background might be in rap or acting or making your own work. Though the piece will be made with me as performer we would be really excited to see it done by someone of a different gender or ethnicity or by a disabled performer. So please apply.

We offer:

  • Observation of our creative process
  • Personalised artistic/career mentoring
  • Rehearsals with lead artists
  • Performance at key venue
  • This opportunity offers a bursary of between £500 and £900. Higher rate depending on confirmation of additional funding.

You would need to be available for work in London from mid September to late October (roughly three days a week). You should also be available for interview Friday 26 August either in London or via Skype.

To apply please mail simonmolespokenword@gmail.com by Wednesday 17 August with:

  • Saying how this opportunity will help you grow as an artist
  • Attaching a Current CV

http://www.simonmole.com

https://mkultraperformance.wordpress.com

Hammer & Tongue headline tour!!

Not many UK poetry organisers can hook you up with 6 great gigs across the country in just over a week. Hammer & Tongue been doing their grand slam plus poet on tour thing for long enough to be really very excellent at it, and I’m thoroughly delighted to be the headline act for them in March. Dates below are links to be clicked…

Tue 3rd Mar – The Book Club,Shoreditch

Wed 4th Mar – The Big Chill, Bristol

Thu 5th Mar – Komedia, Brighton

Fri 6th Mar – The Junction, Cambridge

Mon 9th Mar – Green Note, Camden

Tue 10th Mar – The Old Fire Station, Oxford

what next?!

I wrote this poem inspired by conversations I had with members of the public passing by the Hippopothames sculpture that I was poet-in-residence for during September. To be clear, there were lots of people who had very positive responses to the giant floating hippo – from a quick glance and a grin as they cycled past, all the way up to parents and kids who stopped to write hippo haikus with us, and couples who had come from abroad to take photos of themselves down on the fore-shore with this barrel-backed behemoth proud in the background.

Probably my favourite was the Polish construction worker who told me he had first seen the hippo on the news on TV back in Poland, in his living room with his kids. He had arrived in the UK a week or so later to discover that he was working at the top of a huge new tower-block with a perfect birds-eye view of the sculpture, and had popped down on his lunch to take a photo to send back home!

I was though more interested in those people who for whatever reason struggled with the very fact the thing it existed. Out of a few initially difficult but ultimately very entertaining chats came this poem!

No More Worries mini-film: the pub scene

I blogged a few months back about the spoken word road-trip movie for theatres I’m making with director Peader Kirk. The show is called ‘No More Worries’ and has been co-commissioned by Apples and Snakes and the Albany.

As part of the final project we think we might like to shoot a series of extracts from the full piece in various locations as we tour the theatre performance – mini-films which viewed in sequence would tell the whole story of the show. The aim with this trial one (masterfully filmed and edited by Karim Kamar as part of our Arts Council funded R&D phase) was to get close to the vibe of what it is like seeing me perform the piece live, but mix that up with a few more cinematic flourishes here and there. Hope you enjoy it!

Griffin Primary School’s poem about hippo-po-thames

Thoroughly enjoying this hippo-po-thames Nine Elms residency. Thanks again to Spread the Word for giving me the chance to meet up with lots of lovely people from the area and write poems about hippos! After visiting the sculpture with the group from Griffin Primary, we all headed back to the school to do some writing. Here’s the poem we came up with:

Nine Elms Lane. Tuesday morning. We are in this busy place
Heavy traffic, engines roaring loudly, bursting our ear wax.
Clanking and drilling from the construction site.
Seagulls squawking, white and grey.
People, cars, rubbish. Under the tallest glass building,
big as the Empire State, we lean against the hard rock
of the wall between the path and the river, feel it crumbling.
We are in this busy place. This happy and excited place. To see a hippo.
A massive wooden hippo with pink nostrils shaped like strawberries.
The King Kong of the water. Heavier than a helicopter.
The Fat Farter from Jupiter with eyes like giant eggs.
We watch the dirty brown river Thames moving slowly. A white cruise boat
going under Vauxhall bridge as a red double decker bus drives by above it.
In the distance, London eye. Another bridge, another bridge, another bridge.
Rustling tree leaves. Birds speaking.
Sound of water crashing against the stones
as we listen closely, boats making ripples.
Fresh air brushing my face. We are in this place
by Battersea power station, with its 4 massive chimneys.
This place. With its bright green grass, still soggy. We see
water coming out a tiny pipe on the opposite bank.
Some people sit on benches, smoke cigarettes, eat snacks.
But we are in this relaxed, lazy place to see a hippo.
Some fat-bellied chubby-legged elephant size leader of the swamp.
The Queen Hippo rules the Thames with no care.
The hip hop huge loud King Botamus looking colourful.
In this cool place. With these enormous cartoon eyes. Teeth bigger
than bugs bunny. Super-size. In this place. With it’s mega-bum, short-tail
barrel shaped ogre face. We are in this place
to see a hippo.

PS the awesome photo at the top is by Steve Stills for Totally Thames Festival.

If they can put a huge hippo on the thames surely they can…

As part of the residency Spread the Word have set up for me at Nine Elms I went to visit ‘Hippo-po-thames’ with a great group from Randall Close Day Centre last week. There was 4 of them and they each penned a verse of this awesome poem:

If they can put a lonely yellow hippo
with the biggest ass you’ve ever seen
stood out on the river,
surely they can move Crytsal Palace
to the top of the Premier League!
Noisy but inspiring. A flippin’ miracle!

If they can put this big boat scarer
with ears like horns
on the Thames,
surely they can serve an all-day-breakfast
to me and my mate
Up in the director’s box at Selhurst Park
2 fried eggs, white and bright yellow
Bacon – not too hard
One soft sausage sizzling and spitting
Baked beans, chips AND bread.
A small glass of coke on the side.

If they can put this friendly floating swamp-swimmer
in the river, surely they can
bring Noah’s Ark to St. George’s Wharf
A pair of sheep baying on the pier
Patter of feet of all animals
Bold-striped zebra standing
Looking here, looking there
Parrots, flamingos, macaw
and birds from Guyana
All chirping…

If they can put a humungous big-eyes
honey mud-lover, red-nose beaver tail
from London Zoo hippo on the Thames,
surely they could bring people together in London.
the Asian couple pushing the buggy with a crying baby
Japanese tourists taking photos
The Polish workmen paving the path
And us two Irish/Caribbean observers
80 different languages all smiling
And listening in one place.

a poem about a massive hippo

It’s not every day you get asked to write a poem about a 21 metre Hippo that will be built in secret and then float down the Thames. ‘Hippo-po-thames’ is the latest in a long line of awesome and absolutely massive sculptures by Dutch art don Florentijn Hofman and will be ‘living’ at Nine Elms on the Southbank until the end of September. I performed my piece at the launch – my first duty as official poet-in-residence for the sculpture and surrounding area…

I had a lot of fun writing the piece, and was really inspired by going to chat to Florentijn when ‘horatio’ was still under construction. To find the place I had to head way out east to a tucked away spot in the depths of the docks, between the river and the runway of City Airport. I had landed in a strange place where teams of highly skilled carpenters construct your most surreal dreams from tall piles of timber.

What inspired me most about chatting to Florentijn was the idea that the art is also the activity the object creates – it acts as a catalyst or spark for human engagement, for re-imagining the area. With this in mind, an important part of his final piece is the newly permitted access to the fore-shore where the hippo is moored. The playful almost cartoony appearance of the thing attracts people to engage with the area in a different way.

In my role as poet-in-residence over the next month I’ll be working with Spread the Word to run writing workshops for four different local community groups, using the hippo as a start point for expressing our ideas and opinions about the Nine Elms area.

No More Worries

Hiya, just a quick one to let you know that over the summer I’m going to be doing more blogging over at the website for my new show No More Worries.

“Ever wanted to get away from it all? Kieran is 27 and stuck in a dead-end town. He wants to see the world. Paul is passing through, 55 and on the road again, one holiday snap at a time. No More Worries takes this mismatched couple on a road-trip to the edge. Sometimes, the past is the only thing you can’t leave behind.”

The show is a collaboration with theatre maker Peader Kirk, who also creates Live Art and site-specific performance. Having worked together in a more traditional director/performer relationship on my first show (Indiana Jones and the extra chair), this time around the piece is evolving through a collaborative process that moves between devising and writing.

Join us for one of the scratch sharings listed below – we’d love to hear your thoughts on the piece so far. If you can’t make it along in person, you can still interact with the show through the website.

Sharing Dates

Thursday 26th June | 7.30 pm |ARC, Stockton
Thursday 7th August | 7.30pm | Canada Water Culture Space, London

**

No More Worries has been co-commissioned by Apples and Snakes and the Albany, and developed with support from Arc Stockton and Spread the Word. It is funded as part of the Arts Council Grants for the Arts programme.

My last commission as Brent Poet Laureate…

Thanks to those who took the time to check out the video for my Neasden Temple inspired poem, anyone who missed it can take a look here

A slightly different vibe now though for my 3rd & final commission as Brent Poet Laureate – another thing that has been interesting me around Brent, and London in general, is the baffling continued presence of the internet café.

Logically there should only be one or two of these left anywhere, and by rights these remaining anachronisms should operate more as museums, you know: “come and watch yesterdays future gather dust like a prototype hoverboard.”

But no, there are actually more than ever. I put this down to the fact that instead of lamenting the demise of their kind with a voice like a dial up modem wailing, net cafes have diversified. Wildly.

What used to be net café express, is now net café EXCHANGE express and you can buy or sell or do virtually anything: untraceable sim cards, next level laptops, money transfers overseas, knock off smart phone covers in dayglo orange or tartan, blank CDs, probably blank cassettes if you ask right. No word of a lie, in Kilburn there is a fishmonger which is also a netcafe.

And everything here happens quickly, in the grunted business language of the high road entrapenour. So, I wrote this next piece in the voice of all north west London net café owners, in fact all web kings capital wide. You can listen to an audio recording of the poem here:

And here is the text version:

Net cafe exchange express
Net Cafe Exchange Express. We buy, we sell, we repair. Up to you Boss.
Everything you have not saved will be lost. Email. Fax international. Calls
low cost. All continents here. See her on number two, with the head scarf
and the many plastic bags. Everyday googling stress and hyper-tension. Up
she gets now look, all bustle quick quick with ages left, her 30 minutes
not yet done. My friend. Everything has a price. Printing Black & White. 10p.
Printing Colour. £1. You know the cafe down the road? The new one, yes.
Free wireless, hot drinks, fancy food. Our Fanta and Kit Kat stay cheap,
up to you boss. This tall man brings his book. To my internet cafe. His book.
But he pays, like all customers. Just watch. He will sit down quick then
turn the screen off. Read many pages in one hour. Go.
He tells me he read the internet, all of it. But now he’s bored of it. Honestly,
rubbish. He say that. With no smiling either. And then old red face on
number eight, always pointing pointing I print something yes? Did that come?
I give in not once. Coz being nice only leads to more questions. Soon
I’ll be typing all emails to their cousin in Greece, scanning their house bills,
Skyping their wife. And probably I do it quicker than they can. Jokes,
but with more speed actually I bring in less money. So I give in to him not once.
Yes 10p per print black & white. Yes 50p minimum internet charge as well. Yes,
for logging on and pressing print only. Yes, if you put 60p in the jar each time
you print something here the last six months, you buy two printers. Yes.
But then here you are again, so probably you did not. End of the day.
It’s up to you boss. Everything you have not saved will be lost. And the time
is running out I know, yes. You’re not going to get done what you need to get done.
None of us are.