Indiana Jones & the extra chair @ The Spring, Havant

Indiana Jones & the extra chair @ The Spring, Havant
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
7:15pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre
56 East Street

Havant, Hampshire , UK PO9 1BS
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In association with Apples and Snakes and The Spring, Simon Mole presents

Indiana Jones and the Extra Chair
Every family dinner needs a hero.

Mike is twenty-three years old but still asks ‘what would Indy do?’ at times of crisis, and it’s crunch time when we meet him at a busy train station on his way to his Mum’s. His crumbling love-life is colliding with his heroic fantasy world and the consequences move from hilarious to heartbreaking. Join our hero round the table for his toughest adventure yet, meeting his mum’s new boyfriend…

Simon Mole’s ground-breaking one man show comes to Havant, as part of a residency at The Spring. Working with students from Park Community School to bring you an unforgettable evening peppered with memories, rhymes and recipes…

**Booking required, Food Included**

Suitable for ages 12+

“The young poets were brilliant – brought a tear to my eye!”
Audience member, ARC

“One of the most groundbreaking spoken word shows I have seen”
Russell Thompson, Apples & Snakes London Co-ordinator

“Extremely funny, moving and well observed”
Aoife Mannix, poet in residence BBC radio 4 Saturday Live

Pete Strauss, Huffington Post 4.5 Stars

“A compelling piece of spoken word”
Lettie McKie, Sabotage Reviews


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Chill Pill @ the Albany (Afrovibes special)

Chill Pill @ the Albany (Afrovibes special)
Thursday, October 16, 2014
7:30pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Douglas Way
Deptford, London, UK SE8 4AG
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South London’s coolest spoken word night goes global with a very special line-up of international and UK artists, including Toni Stuart, one of South Africa’s finest published and performing poets, plus even more open mic slots up for grabs.

This event will join Thursday’s ‘Chill Pill Plus…’ for a Township Café mash-up

Please note:
Age Guidance: 16+

Afrovibes Festival

Afrovibes Festival, bringing some of the very best of South African arts to the UK and the Netherlands, makes a welcome return to the UK and the Albany this autumn.

In 2014, the festival's biggest-ever programme celebrates 20 years of South African freedom: 20 years since the ending of apartheid and the beginning of democracy. The creativity of award-winning artists brings us music, drama, dance, photography and film, reflecting upon what it is to be part of 21st century South Africa. By turns it'll be thought-provoking, energetic, sad, fascinating, wonderful. With free events, family workshops and themed food served in the atmospheric Township Cafe, drop by, hang out and belong - you'll believe that you really are thousands of miles from home!

£1 TICKET OFFER: Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. Ticket buyers will be able to buy two tickets per performance for up to three shows in the season.

If booking online, in order to receive the discount on the tickets, you must have a profile set up with the Albany and be logged in. The discount on your purchase will ONLY be shown if you are logged in as you click through to check out. We are updating the website regularly with availability of £1 Tickets.

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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!

Poetry & Poppadoms @ the karamel club

Poetry & Poppadoms @ the karamel club
Thursday, September 25, 2014
7:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
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Following a fantastic series of live readings over the summer season, Poetry and Paella is back, albeit with a slight name change to reflect the great and varied cuisine now being offered in the newly revamped Kabaret @ Karamel. Poetry and Poppadums will continue to furnish the Karamel stage with a lively mixture of spoken word from such amazing names as the ferocious Kat Francois, and philosophical comedy mastermind, Simon Munnery. Last season also brought about a visit from the children’s laureate and all around creative powerhouse Michael Rosen, along with his band, the formidable Dulce Tones. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to get them back in again this time around for another brilliant evening of jazzed up performance poetry that takes in Rosen’s inimitable sense of fun, and keen interest in the politics that shape the city.The autumn series will be kicked off with fast rising star of spoken word and theatre; Simon Mole, on September 25th. Since completing his tenure as official Poet for the London borough of Brent, the writer and sometime rapper has been very busy, developing a theatre show, No More Worries, which is currently being previewed to audiences around the country. Simon’s previous one man show, Indiana Jones and the Empty Chair, was an ambitious and well-received tale of fantasy colliding with reality that incorporated work from young writers engaged by the poet throughout its run, and No More Worries seems set to be just as impactful. He’ll be joined by a fantastic list of yet-to- be announced guests, each bringing their unique take on spoken word to the Poetry and Poppadum party.Comical, moving, insightful, challenging; no two performances are the same.

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Couplets & Cuppas

Couplets & Cuppas
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
5:30pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Douglas Way
Deptford, London, UK SE8 4AG
Other Info
Live streamed poetry jam linking older artists from London, Bradford and Stockton-On-Tees.

Poet Simon Mole curates a late afternoon mix tea and words from the pens of emerging older poets from Bradford, Stockton-On-Tees and London. Voices will simultaneously resonate in spaces across three English cities as people come together through the magic of Skype. Couplets and Cuppers is for anyone who wants to drop by for a slice of cake and a new take on things.

About the BOLD festival

BOLD is a festival of performances, events and workshops made with, by and for older people as well as audiences and participants across the generations. BOLD's exciting and provocative programme has older people at its heart, celebrating their creativity and rich variety of experiences . It challenges all of us to think about ageing differently. From unpicking the politics of the care system to storytelling and singing workshops, it's a chance to be BOLD in our choices, to try new things, meet new people and forget about acting our age. BOLD is a national festival taking place across the UK in Bradford, Stockton and London.

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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.