This weekend I was privileged enough to perform at The Little Festival of Everything, the brainchild of Alex Wright (Belt-Up and Flanagan Collective) and Tom Bellerby (Pilot Theatre). The setting: The Fauconberg Arms in the small North Yorkshire village of Coxwold. The plot: To provide arts to a small community and allow companies to network and test material. The cast: Theatre companies, performers, musicians and poets from across the country perform in the tiny pub to local and travelling audiences.
I wrote a poem about it, which I think sums it all up:
There was a little bit of sketch comedy when a man fell into a chasm
Two writers in a restaurant trying to out-do the other one
There was a little bit of music, the ugly sister’s side of the story
And foot-stomping, fist-swinging, hot dancing folk music glory
There was a little bit of poetry, lines written and read
Conversations with a copper who was also her Dad
There was a little bit of story-telling, William and Polly in the stars
Smiles on faces when we found out drinks were free at the bar
There was a little bit of heroism from tinfoil armoured knights
I had dinner with Dr. Higgs and I don’t think he’s quite right
There was a little market stall, a little chiselling of stone
A little filming too to tell the whole world what we know
That a little and a little and a little adds up to a lot
Going on in this friendly, old North Yorkshire pub.
So please check out 6 Lips Theatre, Snickelways Theatre, Hannah Nicklin, Tucked In, Whitebone, Forward Theatre Project to name but a few.
I think that the event really tapped into the ‘folk’ element of theatre and poetry that we forget amongst the busy hustle of London and the rainy leaflet-driven world of Edinburgh. To perform to a small handful of people in a small room in a small pub can achieve so much, when said show/pub/village/room is full of appreciation, friendliness and love. Poetry and acoustic music and theatre can pretty much be performed anywhere, all you need is an audience, it’s a very rootsy ideology.