Tag Archives: creative writing

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.

Attila the Stockbroker – Undaunted

Bunbury Magazine –  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I sometimes find it hard to write a review of a spoken word show, especially a review of one by someone as talented and wordly-gifted as Attila – mostly because I get so drawn into the performance and the poems (and a little because I get very envious of the talent.)

 

It is with a heady mix of the two that I sit to write this review of Undaunted, the Stockbroker’s Edinburgh show in the iconic Bannerman’s. There could not have been a more perfect venue for this punkiest and rockiest of punk-rock poets. This was a quintessential spoken word set – with poems ranging from the political, the NHS, Trump, Grenfell to the deeply personal, of of which was interspersed with laughs, hard-hitting truths and an honesty which drew the audience in. Attila knows exactly how to work a crowd’s emotions, crafting a set and a flow of poems that twists and turns, leaving the audience in pieces afterwards.

 

All of that is not to mention the words themselves. I could try and be poetic here, describing the man’s talent in a manner befitting the man himself but I doubt I could do him justice so I will leave it with 3 sentences and 3 words: Attila. Is. Phenomenal.

Attila the Stockbroker – Undaunted.

Part of the PBH Free Fringe.

Bannerman’s.

1715.

Until 25th.

Written by Christopher Moriarty.

Dave Chawner – Circumcision: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating – ★★★★★

Bunbury Fringe Award – The From The Hood Award

Straight from the top of the show, it is clear that Dave Chawner is a confident performer who brings a great deal of cheek and charm to the stage.

This cheek and charm are deployed to fantastic effect whilst dealing with some very sensitive issues – this show is the story of Dave’s circumcision at the start of this year. As the story unfolds, the audience are taken on a journey through mental health issues and eating disorders, all of which are dealt with with the utmost respect and sensitivity. It is clear that Dave knows how to put an audience at ease with excellent delivery.

He even talks about sex in a way that had us in stitches but without being overtly graphic – for the most part – which is a very difficult skill to master.

The entire show had a great rhythm and flow, moving through the narrative with a natural pace that allowed the story to build momentum. There was a very clear message to take from the show, an uplifting message which we will not spoil here but we left knowing we had seen something brilliant from one of the loveliest people we met in Edinburgh.

Circumcision was on at Cabaret Voltaire.

Gary From Leeds – Garibaldi: A Review

Bunbury Magazine Rating: ★★★★★

Bunbury Fringe Award: Best Show Title

One really nice thing we have found at the Edinburgh Fringe in the last few years is that spoken word is taking more of a centre stage. As much as we love comedy here at Bunbury, we do also love a finely-crafted hour of spoken word.

Garibaldi, in our opinion, straddles both comedy and spoken word in a very clever way.

After some startling statistics on the decline of The Gary, Gary From Leeds spends the next hour performing sharply-written poems in an attempt to ‘Save Gary.’ He references everything from the Andrex Puppies to Giuseppe Garibaldi himself whilst taking the audience on an extraordinary journey through his words.

Gary makes brilliant use of props throughout the show as well – the palm reading is a stroke of genius (we won’t give it away!) as well as utilising music very effectively. One of the highlights is a poem so bereft of hope yet set to the ‘second jauntiest TV theme of all time’ (again, we won’t give it away) that, yes Gary, it did leave the audience with a net depression. And we loved it.

This is spoken word at its finest and funniest.

Garibaldi was performed at Silk in the Upper Room.

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.

Christopher Writes: #NaPoWriMo Day Four – The Cruelest Month

Here is a poem for day four of NaPoWriMo. You know where the prompt comes from by now.

The Cruelest Month

They sit in rows,

uniform,

hunched, sagging,

a hundred tiny scratching

nibs

deafening inside this velvet sweatbox.

Outside, the nursery across the street

rings its end-of-day bell

and spills

laughs and screams

into a street

busy and littered

with flickering,

birch-filtered sunbeams.

Back in the hall,

one hundred minds

try to

make sense of maths

problems filled with

esoteric exposition

and non-sequiturs.

In and of themselves,

each question is a grain

of sand but each

feels like an entire beach

dumped on to

hunched, sagging shoulders,

 

shoulders now aching,

cracking with the weight

of expectation,

to out-perform pushing parents

who know how little they achieved.

 

Christopher Writes: #NaPoWriMo Day Two – A Family Portrait

Day two of NaPoWriMo. The prompt is A Family Portrait and comes from http://www.napowrimo.net/

Here is a poem.

A Family Portrait

A picture of us all

captures four generations

of smiles.

Four generations of worry

and stresses all forgotten

for one moment.

One moment where we come

together to celebrate

the matriarch that has

brought us all together

for birthday festivities.

She sits dead centre,

hands resting on her lap,

a score of great-grandchildren

at her feet,

grand-children on the edge

of the stage,

the backdrop for

this vignette.

The children,

now grandparents themselves,

are given the deference

of more comfortable chairs.

 

There is chaos in the moments leading up to this;

mini-arguments as to whom

is sitting where and next to whom.

A glass of Coca-Cola is put

on the stage and immediately spilled

down one of the youngest’s back.

They get wedged in between

two chairs near the edge to hide

the rapidly-onsetting stain.

 

All of this melts away

as soon as the photographer

gives his cue.

 

The first time I saw that picture

properly framed,

it sat between a half-eaten punnet

of grapes and a luke-warm

jug of water.

The matriarch,

the conductor of our harmonious moment,

smiled at the treasure and closed her eyes.

Christopher Writes: #NaPoWriMo Day One – A Lune

Christopher here. We’re trying to plan a wedding at the moment and in the choas of trying to organise wedding invitations, I completely forgot about the start of National Poetry Writing Month. I remembered today so here is the first post in catching up with the first three days before attempting to do it like a sensible person.

I am using the site http://www.napowrimo.net/ for the prompts.

Here is a poem.

A Lune

The feather drifts on,

bound by the

constraints of freedom.

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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