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28th December, 2018 


It was a very miserable, dark, windy and wet evening, yet it brought a good turnout to Write Angle's Christmas Special, with Jackie Juno, coming the 360 miles from Dartmoor, three and a half hours away while at the open mic, three newcomers joined Write Angle's splendid regulars. (more below)

Jackie is funny; undoubtedly a commedienne. The jokes between the poems come tripping off her tongue. And the poems themselves are funny, yet contain truths about the world around her. She uses a wide range of voices and accents; and her expressive face changes to add to the meaning and humour in each of her works. She had everyone roaring with laughter as they participated in her A Blokey One-to-one, with most of the words having the sound of one or two, with each half the audience representing one or the other.

A private school commissioned her to produce a poem for a posh event (even though she was nervous about it) and her poem poked fun at the upper class language – and they loved it and had her repeat it. When her daughter became a vegetarian and announced that 'virgins don't eat dairy', Jackie wrote Hardcore Vegans about all the historically reputed virgins – Mary, Queen Elizabeth the First and so on. Then there was her song, My Favourite S&M Things, sung to the tune of Julie Andrews' song in the Sound of Music. Then a change of tone with This Much I Know, a realistic love song, dedicated to her husband: “I know that you love me, warts and all.”

At the open mic, Richard Hawtree held up the proof of his poetry book, The Night I Spoke Irish in Surrey, due out in January; read the title poem and another old favourite. Although the poem was serious, Richard’s natural humour always raises a laugh. His publishers, Donall and Janet Dempsey also performed; and Donall did speak Irish, in Hampshire, not Surrey! He wrote of his dead brother in a novel way, having his ghost come visit, telling him not to cry. Janet wrote a letter of complaint: Dear God: “...when anybody calls, you're mostly incommunicado.”

Fred Werner's Ladder Crew gave us a taste of New York City as heard from his hotel window, complete with sound effects, the wail of the fire engine siren (now it’s his mobile ringtone!). Mike Spilberg's Plaint to the Executioner had a tongue-in-cheek quality of humour as “I lie in a basket now and stare up at the sky.”

Sue Spiers, Diana Arnold, Leah and Bruce Perry, (usually on hammer dulcimer or reading wonderful short stories), chose instead to do a descriptive selection of poetry. They all added sparkle and some not always serious, festive poems to the proceedings, as well as more serious offerings.

Jezz, on guitar, and Jack, on accordian, closed off the evening in their usual harmonious, lilting and rousing manner. The raffle sponsor was The Half Moon, an excellent pub in Sheet, with a Sunday lunch for two.




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