Chill Pill @ The Albany

Chill Pill @ The Albany
Thursday, November 29, 2012
8:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Douglas Way
Deptford, London, UK SE8 4AG
Other Info
Curated by Mr Gee (host of Radio 4's Bespoken Word and Rhyme and Reason), Raymond Antrobus, Deanna Rodger, Simon Mole and Kim-Leng Hills, Chill Pill is a laid-back poetry night where up-and-coming poets share the stage with some of the finest spoken word acts in the UK. Plus, we'll be mixing it up with tightly spun tales inspired by today's headlines, the ever-popular Classics Corner and plenty of banter to boot.


Lyric L
Hip hop. Broken beat. Spoken word. Visit website

Harry Baker
Poetry World Cup slam champion 2012. Visit website

Plus sets from Chill Pill poets Simon Mole and Deanna Rodger

Whether you're a spoken word enthusiast, emerging poet or just curious, come with a sense of humour and leave your expectations at the door.

Limited Open Mic slots available. Arrive early to sign up.

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Chill Pill @ One Taste Festival

Chill Pill @ One Taste Festival
Sunday, November 11, 2012
1:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
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5 rooms over 3 floors filled with...
Music & Spoken word
Dance classes
Lotan Sapir’s OneTaste Cabaret
Swing back to the 40’s - Jazz, high tea, dress up and spa time!
Chill Pill with Mr Gee & Raymond Antrobus
Featuring: Autumn Shift presents...The Adventures of Prince Achmed Orchestra. A live soundtrack to the first ever animated film, Gideon Conn, Dansu, Blue Daisy (DJ Set), Tanya Auclair, Sonny Green (aka SGB), Brilliant Corners, Z The People, Dougie Hastings, Jenny Lindfors, The James Riley Hoedown!, The Sugar Sisters, John Berkavitch, Brooke Sharkey, The People Pile, Cole Nova, Follow The Faun, Daniel Hernandez, Giles Abbott
And MUCH more…

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Indiana Jones and the extra chair @ Live Theatre, Newcastle (Juice Festival)

Indiana Jones and the extra chair @ Live Theatre, Newcastle (Juice Festival)
Saturday, November 3, 2012
1:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
6:00pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
Broad Chare,
Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne , UK NE1 3DQ
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Presented by Simon Mole
In association with Apple and Snakes, New Writing North & Live Theatre as part of Juice Festival

Every family dinner needs a hero…

Relating to your relations isn’t always easy, and it’s often on those rare occasions when everyone sits down to eat together that things really kick off.

Our leading man is Mike, a 23 year old who still asks ‘what would Indy do?’ at times of crisis. We join him at a busy London station as the everyday reality of his own crumbling love-life unexpectedly collides with his heroic fantasy world, with hilarious yet heart-breaking consequences. We then follow Mike on a risky journey into the unknown (via his mums), and watch as his parallel existence in 80s Hollywood blockbusters rudely intrudes on an important family meal. What if Mike doesn’t like Richard?

Simon Mole’s groundbreaking one-man show is a sensory explosion that combines spoken word theatre, riotous adventure, laughs a-plenty and tasty culinary delights. Having collaborated with a group of young writers from New Writing North, Simon and site-specific theatre director Peader Kirk take spoken word performance in an exciting new direction.
The young writers will serve food with poetic memories and perform their own original family-themed writing as they host guests at this unique event. Tickets for these shows are limited so early booking is advised.
Indiana Jones and the Extra Chair! is written and performed by Simon Mole and supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Presented as part of Juice - NewcastleGateshead's award winning festival for children and young people, in association with Live Theatre, New Writing North and Apples and Snakes. Originally commissioned by Apples and Snakes and The Albany.

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A warm welcome…

Being made to feel welcome is important, and when I went to Newcastle to run for the first workshops on the north east leg of the ‘Indiana Jones and the extra chair’ tour that was certainly the case…

First up, my mate Mark met me at the station and drove me via the beer shop to his house, where his partner had prepared us a mighty pasta feast (with home-made pesto no less!) – they continued to feed me like an absolute king all weekend, including home-made soup on saturday lunch and a packed lunch box of leftover pie from the night before to take with me for the train home on Sunday. Quality stuff. Cheers guys.

Saturday was the first time I’d been to Live Theatre, and straight away I was impressed by the location on the quayside, and by the building itself…



Walking through the front door I was greeted by this sign, and then soon after met by Rachel from juice festival and Laura from New Writing North – I’d been chatting to these guys on phone and email for ages so it was great to finally meet them in person. The welcome party was made completed by the arrival of Kirsten from Apples and Snakes, and also by the presentation of my Juice Festival ‘welcome pack’. These guys know how to do what they do properly!


The young writers soon started to arrive as well, and then it was up to the studio to get started – not without stopping to check out this awesome view from the third floor…


The whole building immediately has the feel of somewhere you know you will get good creative work done, and that very much proved to be the case for the participants over the weekend – each one of them came up with a quality draft of a piece inspired by one or some or all of the themes of family, food, and heroes. You can keep up to speed with the project as it develops on here

Show night! Indiana Jones & the extra chair in Leamington…

Thursday 4th October was National Poetry Day, and by happy accident also the final event for Indiana Jones & the extra chair residency project I had been running with director Peader Kirk for Warwick Words Festival. By 7.30, the restaurant at The Grand Union was full up with guests, and by 7.40 they were being treated to tapas and sangria served by the kitchen team and poems served by the local writers who had participated in the project.

Later in the evening, I massively enjoyed performing my show in what was a fantastically warm and receptive space, but perhaps my favourite part of the evening was watching the participants sharing their pieces with the tables of audience members; seeing them adjusting their delivery as they went, really responding to the subtle signals they got from the live interactions between them and the other people at the tables.

The atmosphere was incredible, similar to that magic sounding buzz that you get when you walk in to a bar or pub and just know the vibe is right. After sitting in the space as they performed I was proper psyched up and good to go – I have genuinely never had to warm up as little as I did for the show that night which is a true testament to the work the local writers did.

Here are a few pics of them performing:







Towards the end of the evening, the audience got chatting amongst themselves – sharing their own ideas, reflections, and memories. Here are some notes they left on their paper plates about what they felt were the classic ingredients for a family gathering…

Creating the space for the audience to chat about the show and their own experiences of family is a really important element of the event, and is always a lovely thing to watch and be a part of.






Indiana Jones & the extra chair @ warwick words

Indiana Jones & the extra chair @ warwick words
Thursday, October 4, 2012
7:30pm - All Ages
The Grand union bar and restaurant (map)
66-68 Clemens Street
Leamington Spa, Warwickshire , UNITED KINGDOM CV31 2DN

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Rhyming Thunder Launch Night

Rhyming Thunder Launch Night
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
7:30pm - All Ages Buy Tickets
51 Lavender Gardens
Battersea , London , United Kingdom SW11 1DJ
Other Info
This September Burning Eye Books is launching Rhyming Thunder: The Alternative Anthology of Young Poets.

The anthology brings together 20 of the most promising and exciting young spoken-word stars currently performing in the UK. With no criteria of previously published work, the poets have been selected based purely upon their age and their ability as performance poets.

For one night, we will be bringing together as many of these as we can for an incredible evening of poetry unlike anything you've seen before to celebrate this landmark anthology.

The night will feature performances from:

Amy Acre
Jodi Ann Bickley
Jessie Durrant
Simon Mole
Talia Randall
Amy McAllister
Liam Johnson
Deanna Rodger
Paul Cree
Adam Kammerling
Rob Auton
Emma Ward
Raymond Antrobus
Bridget Minamore
Rembrant Clarke
Tshaka Campbell

Entry is free and the night will be hosted by the anthology editors James Bunting and Jack Dean.

Books will be on sale on the night.

For more information visit:

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Holiday reading: EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING (Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz)

Some poems are so good they make me want to put the book down and start writing. And like a lot of poets I find it hard not to read as a writer these days – I automatically start assessing the use of language or form, I’m constantly on the hunt for clues or stepping stones to write better poems myself, and whilst that can be inspiring it is also frustrating at points.

‘Everything is Everything’ by Cristin O’ Keefe Aptowicz is the first collection for a long time to lift me out of this, to make me want to not stop, but to keep on reading. As a reader.

Aptowicz has a style I find easy to take in; simple and clean but full of such brave, quirky beauty within that. She uses everyday language to spark such strong poetic images, and fills each poem with a sense of something felt  beyond the words themselves; of the hearts of the poems, their reasons for being poems rather than words in some other form.



The blurb on the back of ‘Everything is Everything’ (her fifth collection) states that inside Aptowicz ‘polishes her obsessions until they gleam’, but as I read the poems these obsessions shone out to me almost as personas – without being a straight autobiographical narrative in any way, the collection gave me a real sense of character and life-journey, of the different sides to her personality that seem to shape her writing, or rather personas that appear through it. By no means exclusively I enjoyed getting to know the geeky teen on the academic decatholon team, the passionate slam poetry ambassador, the proud lover and New Yorker, the shy and awkward recluse, the quirky trivia queen, and the embattled commuter on her 9-5 office grind. I also enjoyed finding I had been left space to read creatively, to imagine connections between the moments and experiences described.


Coming back to the collection with my writers head on was fun too, and particularly to read Aptowicz as a performance poet who is currently thinking about how best my stuff might work on the page. I hear her poems clearly as I read them, and the strength of her voice is enhanced by how the poems look. Second time through I also realised that part of the reason the book flowed so well for me is because Aptowicz uses shorter poems brilliantly throughout – they almost take the role of pre-amble in a spoken word set by giving you a break from such an intense level of required focus, and help her to frame or give context to the following poem or poems.

Anyway, I did end up inspired and hungry to write – which is what I’m going to go and do now! If you want to find out more about this collection and Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz in general then follow the link:

Broken bikes, Tour De France legends, the Kilburn High Road, and a new poem!

A single Tour de France is reckoned to take a year off your life. No idea how they work that shit out, but when you take into account that in order to win the race this year Bradley Wiggins covered 2,173 miles in 20 stages with only two rest days, it starts to make sense. 

Get this though. In 1926 the tour spanned it’s longest route ever – a whopping 3,570 miles, in just 17 stages. Madness. To really put things in perspective though consider that last Monday I carried my broken bike the 0.7 miles from my house to Brondesbury Overground station. More on that later.

When I first started watching the tour I was impressed by the spectacle, by the sheer scale of it, the beautiful scenery, the speed of the riders. But as I watched more and more of it each year, and read a little of the history, I began to understand the intricacies of cycling as a team sport, and to appreciate the heroic work by the domestiques that so easily goes unnoticed by the casual observer. Check out the team mates in the background of the picture below, celebrating as their sprinter Andre Greipel wins a stage. He will also know he couldn’t have done it without them, and it is these interwoven personal stories that make the tour so special – in an event that lasts three weeks it is almost impossible not to feel like you are getting to know the personalities of the riders as you watch them race.

Anyway, when I arrived at Brondesbury station I was told the no bikes on the overground policy in place over the Olympics had been extended. By one day. And they had decided that this morning. And so instead of going to the bike shop to get my bike fixed I had to carry my bike back home again. Great.

Now if you’ve ever carried a broken bike you’ll know that as well as probably making you feel very pissed off, it can also make you feel like a bit of a hero, struggling through against the odds. Not this time though. Nope. Just pissed off. I was however comforted mid-journey by a re-sparking in my brain of probably my favourite bit of tour folklore ever:

In 1913, the first man to wear the yellow jersey, Eugene Christophe, broke his forks mid-Stage – a stage which I may add saw the riders set off at 3am! Now this was well before the days of replacement bikes, team mechanics and the like, and so Cristophe had to carry his bike over ten kilometres to the next village where he set about welding it back together under instructions from the village blacksmith, as riders were responsible for their own repairs as well, and no outside assistance whatsoever was permitted. Literally hours behind the rest of the peloton he eventually finished the stage, only to find that he had still been docked time – for getting a little boy in the village to pump the bellows for him!

When I first read about this story it inspired a poem, or at least part of a poem which I was already writing… Enjoy!

La Mistral
Everything I have ever done has been for this,
every choice I ever made was the right one coz it led me here.
Bright pink frame, drop handlebars, skinny racing tyres.
Big city is my home and right now, weaving in and out of the traffic,
it makes sense. Yes. All of it. I wear my confidence, quietly.
Denim shorts, the yellow jersey, and an old school cycling cap.
You will hear my approach, la mistral
that fierce, undefeatable wind from the bald mountain.
And maybe you will see yourself, reflected in the shop window
across the street, and notice how, even at the exact moment
that I pass, your reflection still remains.
a tingle on the back of your neck,
as you watch this little hill in north west big city
become the Col Du Tourmalet, Peaking at 6,939 feet
I breathe out only mountain air,
cold enough to the strip the fear from the world
Bright pink frame, drop handlebars, skinny racing tyres.
My eyes lift up, and are the eyes of Eugene Christophe,
in 1913, as he carries his broken bike
For over ten kilometers, before welding it back together himself,
And still finishing the stage. My only conversations
are breathless victory interviews, still in the saddle.
Bright pink frame, drop handlebars, skinny racing tyres.
Wheels turning. I wear the present moment in a wedding band,
an eternity ring of right now, again and again and again.
Wheels turning. Tarmac flying by. Each rotation what it is and what it is and what it is.

Simon Mole, 2012