Electrolyte: strongly crafted gig theatre

As the theatre door opens the group are testing their instruments, bantering like close friends. The audience is greeted warmly as they enter, creating the atmosphere of going to see a friend play at an open mic night. Continue reading

SparkPlug: Rod Stewart, racism, and a Ford Capri

“I’ve got two dads. One’s black, so that makes me black, so I’m told.” It is with these words that David Judge begins SparkPlug, his semi-autobiographical account of growing up as a mixed-race child in the eighties and nineties. For the most part, he plays his father (also called Dave), examining  his own childhood through the eyes of a white man, married to a white woman, who is giving birth to a child fathered by a black man. Continue reading

Say Owt Slam comes of age

It seems like a strange concept – competitive poetry. But as Say Owt demonstrate, with a capacity audience for their twenty-first, coming-of-age, Slam – it is a hugely popular one. The company comprises Henry Raby and Stu Freestone, who have burgeoned from humble beginnings into York’s prominent purveyors and promoters of performance poetry and Spoken Word. Not that they don’t still flaunt that humble start; their signature backdrop, a banner home-made from an old single bed sheet, proudly holds the signatures of all the poets that have performed in its shadow. Continue reading