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25th Jan, 2016 


Justin Coe was just the cure Write Angle needed to begin the New Year! His burst of energy as he leapt on stage and continued on into 'overtime' almost all but wiped out the stresses and traumas of the last year! As a teacher in schools, and father of three, his work was bound to bring out the 'child' in us, and it did!

Justin is full of talent and natural warmth – a joy to follow as he sings with guitar and gets his audience to follow along. He read some poetic prose from his latest book, 'Dads Don't Cry', dedicating a song to his third child, 'who hasn't had anything written for him yet'. Also several funny and poignant poems from his forthcoming show, such as 'Are We Being Silly?' , 'Ten-to-Ten to Tenterden' with audience involvement – then, 'Henry V', (being a soldier in the school play)'The Lepers' a new piece trying to collect money for a charity. 'The Baby Olympics', first time sung, about the "joys" of parenting, and a wonderful long piece, 'Elmo, the Strong Man, from 'Boys Don't'.

'Numpty Trump', a nursery rhyme about a certain President, and poems from 'The Dictionary of Dads', including 'Daddy Disastar' ("his car is wrecked and his driving's wreckless/his favourite outfit is his breakfast"), 'Grinning Dad (a portrait of Dad from a baby's perspective), 'Shapely Dad' Pirate Dad' (about a child's wild weekends with his father) and 'Wendy House Dad' (a Dad who has daughters and finds a whole new side to himself!). 'Nan on a Caravan Holiday' (another audience singalong, with Phyllida Carr and Jezz on Kazoos - about taking up painting late in life. First time done with guitar! Justin's shows are coming out soon. Might be worth checking out his website for dates. 

The Open Mic was a mixture of poetry and music. Richard Hawtree did poems of the internet. Using Pastorale, a very ancient genre of poetry, dealing with the love and lives of shepherds and sheperdesses who sing, sometimes mourn a love affair that's gone wrong. In his poem, - a young Knight wants to transform himself, as does his beloved shepherdess. Based on the idea, 'Come live with me and be my love'. Then, 'Digital Detox', made of computer expressions.'polyclots maximus' - we all need it every now and then'.
Priscilla Ellis, organiser of Petersfield's Trump day, spoke of a banner, 'Bridges not Walls' to be installed over many bridges throughout England. She invited people to come along to the one nearest Petersfield. 'We want to show him how we feel, even if he won't see it', she said. ' Bruce Parry and his ever wonderful hammer dulcimer, played the beautiful lilting 'Star of County Down' and the folk song, 'Bonnie at Morn'. Then 'Tangerine' and 'Silver Studded Christmas – about family gatherings during that special season.

Alfy Garnett, first timer at WA, was going to play his electric guitar; however, with no cable, he ended up doing the next best thing - au natural – with his sweet voice and great personality, we hope he returns – with the 'missing' equipment. Adele Philips read a poem based on a true story – The Sinking of a Ferry' from the Port of Piraeus, and the rumours of its cause –- to the 'smell of diesel, and the swaying side to side'. Good, strong, visual imagery. A poem with two voices, 'Ready to Die', were read by Leah and Priscilla.

Jilly Funnell played 'Olay Jose', by Debby Cracknell on classical guitar, a very pretty Spanish melody, followed by familiar and fun songs, 'Darling, please don't save the last dance for me'. (I don't know why I married you…. The last time you smiled was 1989'), and ''Great Love, Break Up', another 'tongue in cheek' song. Jezz then came to the Mic with his new outlook. 'I'm practising relaxing' he said. The audience laughed. He played 'A Long December' and 'When you Go Away', two pretty ballads. (What would we do without Mr 'Charisma')? Phyllida played her harmonica, while everyone joined in with 'Sweet Molly Malone', 'Oh, my Darling Clementine' and some others. Speech Painter, author of the 'adult Mr Zeuss', who appears from time to time when someone he particularly favours shows up to perform, smiled all the way through, (when not laughing) – and was greeted by fellow pro, Justin, with the warmth the poetry world often displays when meeting and greeting each other. 'He's good' he said to me after Justin did his second part of the evening, and I totally agreed! Then again, it was a warm cosy evening for such a cold, cold night. Thanks to all who showed up, participated or just enjoyed - and made it a really special occasion for all! Our good wishes to multi-time-winner of the raffle for Lemon Grass Thai restaurant in Petersfield – excellent, exotic food and ambiance!

It was a good start to the New Year. Here's wishing everyone a 'follow-up' with all the hope for peace, love and good will, that a new year can bring!



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