Happy St George’s Day! and Happy Birthday Shakespeare…

‘Collective Noun’ A night of Poetry with four local Laureates

To commemorate this most auspicious day and also the wonderful year of our poet in resident Pete Cox. St John’s CIC is staging  an evening performance to celebrate the contribution of Four of our local Poet laureates and to also say a big thank you to some of our local spoken word talent. This will be a event full of beautiful and exciting verse that will display the imaginative talent of these East Anglian bards and the things and places that have inspired them in their laureateship.

The night includes the wonderful following:
Pete Cox- Poet in Resident at St John’s
At Easter 2012 Pete Cox was appointed Poet-in-Residence for St. John the Baptist Church. Hear some of the work he has produced in that time and about some of the events he has attended.
“Cox is a poetic wildcard, spinning off all kinds of funny, bizarre and fanciful versa…” Neal Wilgus, Small Press Review (USA). “Is there no end to this man’s versatility?” Keith Walker, Fanzine Fanatique (UK).

Elaine Ewart- Fenland Poet Laureate
National award-winning poet and Fenland Poet Laureate Emeritus, Elaine Ewart is currently studying for an MA in ‘Wild Writing: Literature and the Environment’, at the University of Essex. She writes poetry and short fiction, as well as creative non-fiction about the natural world. Elaine, a former lawyer, lives in Ely and volunteers at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Welney.
Enjoy her work and follow her poetic adventures online at:

Simon Stabler- Peterborough Poet laureate
The last time Simon performed in a church was as a boy soprano more than 20 years ago. While he still has his medal from the Royal School of Church Music, his ability to sing left him many years ago, thanks in part to underage smoking and barking along to punk records. He may have given up smoking some years ago but still enjoys a spiky rant, with his poem This Is Peterborough… and We Deserve More earning him the title of Peterborough Poet Laureate at last September’s finals. Having known Pete for many years, Simon is honoured to be at tonight’s celebration and for once, will be turning down his irreverence settings.

Darren Rawnsley- Stamord Poet Laureate
Take a brief journey with Darren Rawnsley, from the 1960′s to the present day. A weave of reflection, truth and empathy. From buttercups to riots, intimate cafes to traditions past down through generations. A ‘Box of Alsorts’ for the listener to digest.

Please take a poetic pew at our very own St John’s the Baptist, Peterborough, just behind the Guildhall in Peterborough City centre.

When: 23rd of April 2013
Time: 7:30pm-10:00pm
Price: £3 and please pay on the door, no advance tickets


A new Musical for Peterborough- Parkway Dreams

Last night was the first performance of ‘Parkway Dreams’ which is Eastern Angles’s latest production based on  the Peterborough Development Corporation who were tasked with transforming my home from an old market town into a new city. Also personally this was the first play, which I have been involved in, that my Dad and Stepmum had seen, which added to my nerves but I should have not worried at all, my Dad’s face at the end was an absolute picture of enjoyment and dare I even say it pride.

So what is it all about, I hear you ask? Well the script uses real life oral histories, documents and archives from the time, that have already been collected as part of the Forty Years On project:http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/libraries-and-archives/forty-years-on/

This project has over the last year and half recorded and archived the processes and impact that the development corporation had on Peterborough since its inception in 1968. Now this sounds like quite a dry subject on the surface but its actually a really heart-warming  musical and documentary play which uses the voices of those real people who lived in Peterborough during the 1970’s and 1980’s. It invokes Vesta curries, arctic roll, deelyboppers, whilst revealing poignant narratives that are believable and a plethora of facts that are both interesting and often astounding.

Also parts of the play have become quite relevant in light of a recent woman politician dying too. So when you come to see it, then please bear in mind the script was written well before recent events, but somehow it represents both views presently being debated about her.

The writer Kenneth Emson tells the extraordinary back-room story of the architects and politicians who transformed Peterborough by being nostalgic but not sentimental and by being funny but not disrespectful. Also he has really captured the frenetic optimism of the time and then slow death at the end of the New Town schemes.

Simon Egerton the musical director has produced songs which are so catchy that any self respecting pop tune should be shaking in it’s dancing shoes. Plus he shows real creativity in how he is able to make planning not only sexy but really shine with great melodies and showstopping harmonies.

Again on a more personal note, I was so proud of the whole Eastern Angles team and a super talented cast that just ooze so much skill and energy from every line and limb.

We sold out last night at the Key Theatre, meaning a first night triumph and and the feedback was so positive, that I am hoping that more of Peterborough folk get to see it and with audience members from yesterday evening saying they are going to come again! I would suggest you get a ticket pretty sharpish. To do that, please go to:    http://www.easternangles.co.uk/index.html