Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Popes, Grannies, and Smurfettes at the Birdcage

April 26th, 2010 · No Comments

Image Credit: http://www.thebirdcagenorwich.co.uk/Gallery.aspx

Image Credit: http://www.thebirdcagenorwich.co.uk/Gallery.aspx

This month’s Cabaret at the Birdcage, on 24 of March, was a little different from the past few I’ve attended. Since it fell over UEA’s Easter Holiday, the line up was mostly adults—and my flatmate, of course. The performance began with Christine York. What to say about Christine? Well, her opening piece was entitled, “Punk Rock Granny.” And that she was. To be honest, I was glad when her series of poems on elderly sex and proper table manners were over. She was followed by the debut reader Jill Dean, reading the work of her mother’s boyfriend, John Simms. Simms’ poems touched on poignant memories of love and family members. This brought the mood of the show back down to what I had expected.  Following this was my flatmate, L. Eaves. Beginning with a new piece of his, “Gallows Humour,” which dealt with finding the humour, irony, and sadness of death. Then of course there was the old classic that all L. Eaves fans know and love, “Grumpy at 20,” which professes the desires of a grumpy 20-year-old not to party, drink, or enjoy loud frivolous activities.

After this the mood of the show changed yet again. How to describe what followed? Andy Sprag was due up next, but due to…something…he was unable to attend. In his absence he sent along a cassette tape to be played. The cassette tape blared at full volume, essentially white noise in the form of odd gospel-singing-stuff. No poetry. None of Andy’s singing. Just this bizarre white noise gospel like music. Next up was Adam with poems that twisted fairy tales, Megan Pervis (a fellow American, from California) who performed solemn more serious poetry, including a poem entitled, “Non Journey,” and comedienne Amy Nickelson with amusing thoughts on contraception. The finishing act was, yet again, something totally unexpected and mood changing. Will Averill took the stage and explained that he loved Irish folk music and gangsta rap.  To further illustrate this point, Will performed his first poem in a mixture of folk and rap. He followed with his poem “Smurfette,” and closed with some audience participation. Which I hate. It consisted of some groups yelling, “THE POPE,” and others, “THE GAYS.” I think you get the picture.

Overall the eclectic  line-up provided for a reasonable show. Not quite the level of performance usually found at the monthly Birdcage Poetry Cabaret, but still worth the single pound the show costs. I recommend these performances every time!

Hours: 2.5

Total: 12.5 (and done!)

Tags: Megan

There’s a Zombie in The Birdcage!: Poetry in Norwich

March 1st, 2010 · 1 Comment

The Birdcage resident cat and Russell J. Turner hosting

Last week, I attended the every third Wednesday of the month poetry Cabaret, HEADCRASH, run by local poet, Russell Turner. It features other local poets in the small coffee shop atmosphere of  The Birdcage Pub.

This month’s cabaret featured a phenomenal line-up. It began with the prose pieces by Cora Benzie, who began by offering the disclaimer that the male narrator of her pieces was not her. Normally prose performed drags on and is a bit hard to follow, but not this. Not only was it edgy and enthralling, but the short length and detailed narrative made it easy to follow. Next up was Roger the Zombie who seemed to do a stand-up comedy rant against everything… followed by John William Brown who read some poignant post Valentine’s Day poems. Unlike most poems of this holiday, these touched on the loss of loved ones and the love of family members. Then the host, Russell J. Turner stepped into the line-up to fill in a for a few people who couldn’t make it. He performed a piece inspired by words found on a random generator—the idea was credited to Tim Clare of Aisle 16, who I talked about in my past entry. After a short drink break, the show ended with two final acts: Stevie Watson and Hannah Jane Walker. Watson performed, among other pieces, a poem called, “Technology Scares Me.” She also had the most amazing English or something accent ever! Walker closed with a large group of poems ranging from pieces about apologies to all the things that you want to tell the person you care about, but instead you are a jerk.

Andrew accompanied me and actually enjoyed poetry!

All in all, the line-up and performance was great. But the best thing about the whole event was not the performance, but the fact that I got to successfully introduce poetry to my friend, Andrew Barron. Thanks for coming Andrew, and I am so glad you had a good time! In the future, The Birdcage holds events every Wednesday, which rotate between music poetry, and comedy. I definitely recommend checking it out! It is only a pound to sit on couches and watch the show!

Hours: 2.5

Total Hours: 5.5

Tags: Megan