Tag Archives: Bunbury

Steve Whiteley – Wisebowm: The Struggle is Real

 

Bunbury Magazine – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Wisebowm is an urban poet whose struggle is real – the struggle with being the country’s leading urban poet. The struggle with working the nine to five. The struggle with trying to impress the right woman and please his friends and family. This is a musical about struggle.

 

Steve Whiteley has created a deeply likeable character in Wisebowm, a crackling parody of the faux ‘urban kid rap poet’, with pretensions of being ‘gangsta’ yet actually being achingly middle-class. Steve has perfectly identified the attitude and intricacies of these characters and presented them in a fresh way, via an engaging premise. I have seen many parodies of this type of character before, but have never seen it so well done.

 

The premise is a musical based around Wisebowm’s last year, and the struggles he has faced. Steve Whiteley uses the poems and music weaved together exceptionally within the narrative, and his performance absolutely fills the room. There is no ignoring Wisebowm when he is in full flow. The production of the music is also stand-out – the music and SFX all timed to comedic perfection.

 

I never like to make comparisons of one thing to another in these reviews but the narrative of The Struggle is Real, the music and poetry put me in mind of The Streets’ A Grand Don’t Come For Free (a personal note to Mr. Whiteley – I really apologise if this is off the mark of your intentions for the show. That really is one of my favourite albums and you have done a stellar job of parodying it!) Go and see Wisebowm while he is still tearing up the Edinburgh streets with his rhymes. You’ll be his next biggest fan!

Steve Whiteley – Wisebowm: The Struggle is Real

Part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Opium.

1345.

Until 26th.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Tim Renkow – King of the Tramps: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating – ★★★★★

The first thing to say about Tim Renkow is, his comedy is not for the faint-hearted. If you like a sugar-coating, sprinkles of fairy dust and happy-go-lucky stories, Tim’s brand of comedy is not for you.

However, if you like blisteringly honest, ferocious and to-the-knuckle comedy (and let’s face it, who doesn’t) then Tim is most certainly the comedian for you.

Tim clearly has a wickedly sharp comic sense which he turns on his life with cerebral palsy, his time on the streets and, afterwards, being hounded by the homeless in a wonderfully dark manner. His tales are grounded in a fierce reality yet ‘out there’ in a glorious way. He weaves a great levity into his darkness, putting the audience’s minds at rest.

Not that the audience needed this comfort. Even with the brutal way in which Tim speaks about his life, there was never an uncomfortable moment.

Tim is a natural and confident performer with a wicked sense of comedy which is a pleasure to witness.

King of the Tramps was on at The Hive at 1950 as part of Heroes

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation – A Review

Bunbury Magazine Review – ★★★★★

The show we saw of Crime Scene Improvisation was a one-off, in more than one sense of the word. This intelligent group of actors work an entire murder mystery solely based on suggestions from the audience, meaning each performance is unique, never to be seen again.

Each and every person involved demonstrated a phenomenal skill in building an increasingly bizarre and hilarious story, filled with wonderfully 3-dimensional characters.

Our was the story of a young, world-leading shrew tamer who was force-fed a Lego statue of a shrew. Yes, we told you it was bizarre. The detective superbly lead the audience through the narrative as each of the characters interacted, unraveling revelations that eventually built to revealing the culprit.

This troupe of performers cannot be praised highly enough for their quick-thinking, interaction, both with each other and the audience and we cannot more strongly recommend seeing them if they should be in a town near you. It is of utter testament to them that the demand to see the show was so high that people were being asked to come back the next day.

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation was on in Cabaret Voltaire at 1515 as part of The Free Festival.

Joz Norris – Hello, Goodbye: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating – ★★★★★

From the very start – not just the start of the set but from walking in to the room – it is clear that this will be a show of comedy with a difference.

Hello, Goodbye is a tale of love and death that takes in everything from Beatrix Potter to Van Morrison with a surreal look at what motivates us moving forward in life.

Joz is a very confident and charming performer. His work with the audience – involving them with the show and drawing them in to his wonderfully imaginative world – is first class. He makes brilliant use of props and music to craft his story and plays around with different forms of comedy to create a layered and unexpected narrative.

It was wonderful to see his subversion of these comedic forms – his subversion of character and improv comedy were very well thought out.

His dedication to the craft is admirable and he really does have a massive future ahead of him.

Hello, Goodbye was on at The Hive at 1840 as part of the Heroes model.

Christopher Writes: #NaPoWriMo Day 5 – Local Wildlife

Welcome to #NaPoWriMo Day 5. I didn’t take the prompt from http://www.napowrimo.net today because rehashing other poems doesn’t really interest me. Instead, I took the prompt we gave out in the last meeting of Just Write.  We have started a big local writing initiative with the aim of creating a section in the magazine dedicated to writing from the north west. If you are a local writer, please do get in touch and send us your stuff to submissions@bunburymagazine.com

The prompt was local wildlife.

Local Wildlife

Tonight we take you to

a very specific part of

the north-western region of

the jungle.

 

The ecosystem here bustles,

a menagerie in the truest

sense of the word.

In a clearing,

the peacock parades,

flashing its colours

and trinkets to the females

in the vicinity.

One female approaches, curious,

but the male’s mating call

has her quickly turning away.

The peacock starts to become desperate,

now openly and aggressively approaching

the females.

He must pair tonight or he risks

becoming outcast from his muster.

All the females have left him behind.

His braying attitude fades

and he returns to his nest,

self-esteem in tatters.

 

At the watering hole,

the bison are all jostling for position,

barging each other out of the way.

It is paramount out here

for each of them to have their fill,

usually more than they require.

They do not know when they will

next have the chance to

take on water and so greed

takes over.

A younger, weaker member of the herd

tries to muscle through

but it is quickly ejected.

It is only when the elders of the herd

have finished that he may drink.

He must learn patience.

 

On its podium,

we see the bird of paradise.

She has spent the day grooming before

this nocturnal display of resplendent colour,

flashes of brilliant orange and blue.

The rest of the jungle see

that she is majestic in her beauty.

 

A lengthy display has taken its toll

and grace deserts her.

She stumbles down from her perch,

vomits heavy black

down her plumage

and loudly

her call echoes around the jungle

for a fag.

Each member of this delicate ecosystem

has their part to play in what is one

of the greatest dramas on Earth.

Do The Write Thing Halloween edition.

Rain tore down the well built defences of waterproof jackets and umbrellas while a welcoming, warm light burned in Bar Ten.  A large bowl of sweets sat invitingly on a table and a pumpkin glowed on stage, a raven carved into its face.
20151027_203924The evening started with open mic slots, the first of which took the form of a dialogue written and performed by Alan Rick with Fiona Nuttall taking the second roll. It is the first time we have had a more theatrical piece and it was great to see something different.

Next up was Michael Bainbridge who has a short, sweet and wonderfully penned offering and you know how much 20151027_204355we love seeing a new face.

Another new face performing but regular audience member Helen Bainbridge gave us a heartfelt and emotive pieces to enjoy.

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After the first lot of open mic performers we had the first of our headliners for the evening, Dr. Sam Illingworth.
Dr Mr Sam is a physicist who lectures at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is also a poet. He delighted us with poe20151027_204927ms on birds, fish, the void and many other topics. Sam writes about and researches the crossover poetry and science, to put it in a nutshell and if you get the opportunity, go see him. You will not be disappointed.

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After the break we had our second headliner, Mr Chris Bainbridge who is always a pleasure to have at our evenings. His pieces are inspirational at some points, thought provoking at others and downright hilarious too. He truly is a gifted poet and again, if you get a chance to 20151027_214746see him, do so.

 

The second, smaller duo of open mic performers started with a comedic piece from Matt Panesh who portrayed a character by the name of Roger Cumsnatch who is just as jaw-dr20151027_215919opping as the name implies. It was very refreshing to have another first at Do The Write Thing.

The second slot saw the return of the highly talented Fiona Nuttall who is always a pleasure to hear and has previously been a headliner. Fiona has a style all ofWP_20151027_024 her own and captivates the audience with ease and a great degree of skill.

Finally, we saw the début headliner performance of Lorraine Beckett-Murray, who delivers great impact from page to performance. We were treated to tales of cannibalism and long lost loves spanning centuries. A regular at our writing group, Do The Write Thing and landlady of Bar Ten, it is wonderful to see someone so passionate really take the reins.

At the end of the night, Keri presented the headliners with her own canvases. The pictures of which, are below. We hope you’ve enjoyed this write up and urge you to come to the next event. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates about the next event.
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Editor Christopher Writes – #PoemADayForAYear: 12/10/15

Here is a poem.

Cut my smooth, unbattered flesh

and I do not bleed blue, gold nor red.

My words do not profess nor betray

any strong opinions or judgements.

My thoughts will never change the world,

my deeds will not shape history.

My ancestors backs do not carry scars

of whips and a world of weight and fight.

My existence has never been defined

one straight, sign-posted road, more a series

of light-and-shade dirt tracks.

 

Every morning I slip in to pre-tied trainers

and scroll through the Recently Played

list for something soothingly familiar

to listen to whilst walking to work

for someone who keeps the roof over my head,

gas in the pipes and ambition caged.

Walking under cherry trees which darken the path

with its tributaries, I use the flap of the tobacco

pouch as an umbrella for a cigarette.

 

The main road parades a torrent

over me on the corner junction

as a dust-red Vauxhall chances

the last amber half-second.

 

On the other side of the junction,

a fray-haired mother uses half her

effort to put the rain cover

up over her already sodden child

whilst gazing through the window

of another beauty salon.

The cars beep her back to reality,

informing her to cross over.

 

On the main high street, one-third of the shop

shutters are still down, displaying vulgar graffiti.

A homeless man pulls at one of the shutters,

fingers grimly clawing at a rusted padlock

before giving up and moving on to the next.

 

Cut my smooth, unbattered flesh

and I do not bleed blue, gold nor red.

My veins do not run with riotous

glimmer nor within my mind does

not reside the cure for cancer.

 

As one hand cups a half-smoked rolly,

my other is deep in the pocket of my rain coat,

finger-tips idly toying the engraving

of a pocket-watch I received as a birthday present,

and I know I am loved.

Editor Christopher Writes – #PoemADayForAYear: 20 – 22/07/15

20/07/15

Here is a poem. The prompt is ‘drift’ from #Soulwords.

The first of the day

is blown too quickly

away amongst

drifting wrappers.

21/07/15

Hi, my name is Christopher and I

am an addict.

It’s been two hours since I,

um,

last used.

It’s got to a point now where I’m using at work,

on the bus,

on the toilet even.

Once upon a time

it was just something to take the edge off,

relax after a hard day.

It was a great escape,

a break from the prison of reality.

Now it feels as though I’m living on mars.

You can sit there and say,

hey,

it’s all good man.

It’s not. It’s like my own

personal horror story.

It’s causing damages,

stripping me down to the bones

in numbers,

and saying anything would

be a lie to me.

A pretty little lie.

Now I’m doing it every chance I get.

Cigarette breaks, toilet breaks,

behind the counter.

It’s even worse when I’m at home,

on a day off. Up at 8A.M,

by nine I’m already on the third rock.

Doing it when I’m washing up.

Sorry, I know I’m not making much sense.

I’m deep in the thick of this.

I don’t even care what it is anymore;

uppers,

downers,

feel goods,

weepers,

those ones that make you feel

like you’re the one being watched.

I think I need a doctor who understands,

who can help me slay this thing,

to chuck the habit,

because doing this on my own

is like chasing fireflies.

It’s the cost too.

Sure, the first sample is free

and that’s how they get you.

After that though, you pay.

Pay every time, like clockwork.

So, I,

I don’t know,

um,

I don’t know what else to say

other than,

Hi, my name’s Christopher and

I’m addicted to Netflix.

22/07/15

Here is a poem. The prompt is ‘quiet madness’ from #MadVerse.

Our attention is always drawn

to those who scream and destroy

publicly when it should

be on those who boil

the shadows in quiet madness.

Editor Christopher Writes – #PoemADayForAYear: 14-16/07/15

Here is the second of the catch-up days. All poems, as said before, have already been written. This is just posting them up.

14/07/15

The smallest one hid

at the back for photos,

an innate shyness caused

by always being the furthest away

from warm embraces.

While all the others

are fawned over, it simply sits

and waits for its turn, which never comes,

until eventually it is disowned,

left alone in the deep cold.

One day someone came to visit,

it passed all the others with perfunctory nods

until it came to the smallest,

at the back as always,

and smiled, said hello.

Pluto smiled back.

15/07/15

The bin in work is not just a bin.

It is not simply there

to hold the discarded items

that retail invariably brings –

packaging, faulty products.

It is also used as a ‘wet floor’ sign,

something to apathetically kick

when it is too hot and I am crabby.

It is also a beacon.

It is the first thing I see, bold red,

as I am opening the door.

A warning light to let me know

the next eight hours of my life

will be tedious, annoying

and preciously not mine.

16/07/15

The tall wide man

with skinny legs and

cliff-face shoulders

struts in front of the mirror.

His arms a map with only

one indicated ordinance feature;

a detailed topography of his

veins. He lifts a dumbbell

with a constipated grunt over his head

and strains. Cannon-balls jostle

for supremacy under stretched-out skin.

Next to him, a short squat man,

wide and less detailed quickly

loses enthusiasm halfway

through a routine. He looks at the tall, wide

man and considers his form,

the time masturbated away

aiming for what is seen as perfection.

Two minutes later, the squat man

is asking to cancel his membership.

Editor Christopher Writes – #PoemADayForAYear: 11-13/07/15

As you have probably seen, we have been mightily busy here at Bunbury over the past few days. We have had a new issue out and getting ready to take the next massive step in building our support network. Because of all the exciting things happening here, I have not had chance to sit and update the blog for quite a few days. I have still been writing poems, don’t worry, but actually sitting and getting them written here has not been possible.

Here is an update of the poems. I will do three tonight and three tomorrow for 11-13/07 and 14-16/07 and then carry on as normal from there. I know just one or two poems at a time is probably more than enough drivvle than you can handle so I thought I would break it up a tad.

11/07/15

Here is a poem.

Her shoulders slung low

covered in spider-spun-thin

lace while all the men

stood catching flies,

hypnotised by the chain-link

waist and watch-face hips.

The kind of sway that inspires

skulking in shrubbery at three a.m,

unlicensed firearms and missing

neighbourhood pets.

Though never encourages it.

That sway lead cut-marble

legs through clinically-white

door frames into clinically-cleaned

rooms full of anesthetic and blueprints

for less appeal.

12/07/15

Here is a poem.

Space is big, is not, my friends?

The scientificists say that don’t

know much ’bout space. They

don’t know nothin’ ’bout

what it’s made from or

where it came from.

I don’t  mind mind sayin’

that I don’t know nothin’

more than what them scientificists

say they don’t know

but I do know I got me a theory.

Now, as we all know,

bein’ compatriots here of this good green earth,

that we is all bein’ watched all the time.

When we at work, walkin’ around town,

eatin’ in our favourite dinery outlets.

Don’t matter where we are, we is bein’ watched.

There’s one place though that they can’t get to us.

Or so we think.

Let me ask you a question.

Have you ever been laid in bed at night

and you can’t sleep? Eventually,

you’re just about to drift off and you

think you see something out of the corner

of your eye, like shadows flickerin’?

Oh you tell yourself it’s nothin’ but

think about this. How is those shadows

flickerin’ when there’s no light.

I tell you now that those are governmental

agents, shadows harnessed from

the deep darkness of space by all

those satellite dishes they got

swirlin’ round above our heads.

Why do you think space is so black?

It’s shadows people. It’s shadows.

13/07/15

Here is a poem. The prompt is ‘collecting souls’ from #cdpoetry.

Screams flicker the ends

of pages of heavy books.

Flick through to see souls

flattened alongside rose petals,

ready for cataloging.