Liz Bentley began performing on stage as a Brownie Guide in Ralph Reader Gang Shows in and around Southend-on-Sea in Essex. She left the world of performing to play in psychedelic bands and to travel and work at Gumbi Records.
After training and working as a therapist for some years and starting a family, Liz took up novel writing. After rejection upon rejection, a literary agent suggested her book would work better as short stories. Her partner suggested she take a story and read it at an open-mic event. That week, she found such an event in Deptford, read out a story and people laughed — a lot. Liz was booked for a paid gig two weeks later and so on.
Five years on, she has performed with rave reviews at the Ledbury Poetry Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2004 with Rachel Pantechnicon and 2007 solo show "I've Only Got Myself to Blame"), Birmingham, Reading and Brighton comedy festivals... to name but a few. She has become a favourite at cabaret events such as Finger in the Pie at Madame Jo Jo's and has been commissioned by Sundown Poets, Southend-on-Sea to write and perform at events sponsored by the Arts Council. She has programmed and co-produced events for Steam Control and Steam Pressed Poetry at RADA and Peckham library.
Using her work experience and personal history of mental health and having multiple sclerosis, Liz has had the pleasure of tailoring sets and performing at Bonkersfest, Mad Pride, Liberty disability festival and BBC Ouch podcast. She has also performed at therapy conferences e.g. Association of University and College Counsellors and Southwark Mind.
Liz is now working on her new book and 2008 Edinburgh show.
Awards include Short Fuse's Poetry Idol and she is the only ever winner of Poetry Idol - The Rivals.
'Bentley is beguiling... Such an exhilarating experience' - Chortle
'Like a female Ivor Cutler' - The Scotsman
'Definitely one of my Fringe highlights' - Three Weeks *****