Thursday, May 26, 2011

" Mr McGovern In Malpas: Opening Event In Up And Coming Arts Festival"

Malpas is a village a few miles from Chester and last week, the 1st ever MALFEST took place there. (
And after sampling the 1st night, I'm sure that Malfest is destined to be a colouful arts festival, moulded by a team of keen and talented locals, who all have hefty claims on the arts world.
I could attend only 2 events but next year, hopefully more....

The opening event ( in a rather sumptious marquee, complete with bar) featured superb writer Jimmy McGovern " in conversation" with award winning writer John Oakden who had generously lent his lovely house and garden. And their chat didn't disappoint, believe me...

FOR EXAMPLE: We heard lots of talk re " Cracker" ... I bet you didn't know McG envisaged Fitz as a small scrawny character....but soon he appreciated his director's choice of the well-made Robbie C (!)

We heard about "Hillsborough" McGovern tirelessly ( and tactfully) talked with bereaved and grieving families, we heard about his brilliant " Accused", about the effects of his Afghanistan episode..we could have amassed so much more had time been available. This was a great opener for Malfest and clearly enjoyed by all.

AND after Irish Liverpudlian Mr McG, we were taken to Wales by a troupe of superb readers who gave us a very well rehearsed reading of Dylan Thomas's " Under Milk Wood" . Characters sprang to life, as did the story and setting.
And for the 2nd part, we drifted into John Oakden's spacious drawing room, where we were warmed by a roaring fire as well as DT's gorgeous words..

** And if you've got time, SEE my archived post AUG 10th 2009 about McG's " The Street"

** And the snap is Mr McG chatting with someone I know well (!) John Oakden is on the stage.

** And my next post will be about another super talented Liverpudlian....!
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

" Jon Mayhew Visits Hoole-igans...."

HELLO! I go from SUBLIME to postings for 5 months and now 3 all at once....I suppose it's a bit like those buses...

Here is local writer Jon Mayhew ( father of 4, Advisory Teacher, Musician, Serious Runner...HOW does he do it?!)

Jon spent a morning with the Hoole-igans recently. Here he is by Clare, who is listening to his tips with rapt arrention.

Jon writes for Bloomsbury. His 1st Book was the wonderful scarily chilling " MORTLOCK" .

More about Jon and his well-deserved burgeoining career on:

" Jo Bell: Chimes In With The Hoole-igans"

Jo Bell, prizewinning and well published poetess, made a welcome visit to The Hoole-igans.

It was a case of 2nd time lucky. Jo attempted to visit in December but roads were icy, snow was falling and she had to postpone. However on a breezy Spring day, we managed a replay.... when she gave us a fabulous morning, sharing her poetry and her latest work.

Jo, who lives on a 67 ft narrowboat called "Tinker" ( and was once an archaeologist ) wears lots of hats.... and she suits them all ... She writes, performs, leads workshops and one major "job" is that of Director of National Poetry Day.

Thanks Jo ( if you see this) for a great session.

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"Poets Converse With The Hoole-igans"

I'm catching up with stuff. It may take some time...

Here are two fine poets pictured " in conversation" when they came to my writing group ( The Hoole-igans).
They are (left) Simon Gotts and (right) Clive McWilliam.

Looking on with interest is Gill King, a keen member of our group. We had a super morning listening to stunning work and gathering up stunning tips.

Clive runs his own Landscape Architecture business and is currently working on an MA at M/Ch School of Writing. He recently appeared at M/Ch Royal Exchange reading with Carol Ann Duffy and Friends and he's won several major prizes, including a Forward Prize in 2010.

Simon, senior librarian in Flintshire, delights with his stories and poems. He's won or been placed several times in the Cheshire Prize for Literature as well as in other major competitions.

We hope to see Clive and Simon again.

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Here I am and I'll be blogging ASAP but I'll answer my previous postings NOW!