Well, it was supposed to draw to its grand conclusion at Colchester Arts Centre on 29 April. A stunning church conversion with hundreds of punters packed in to see us perform in the flesh.

As it happens, it drew to a conclusion on Facebook Live: with me hosting from my one-bed flat in East London, with only a hazy distant memory of what it’s like to attend a live performance in person.

Regardless of how the pandemic stream-rolled our plans, I’m still immensely proud of what we achieved with this series of ‘LIVEwire’ events. It was our most ambitious live project to date and it couldn’t have gone better (apart from… well, you know…)

LIVEwire Manchester highlights by Northern Heart films

Our aim has always been to provide top quality spoken word poetry to the masses. Engaging, accessible, political, and unapologetic: that’s what we’re about.

This series featured four regional events in large (for us) theatres and arts centres – in Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Colchester – plus four residency nights at Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds.

The responses that we received from audiences around the country were overwhelming, and backstage, the camaraderie between the performers was a joy to behold.

In short, we smashed it, and I couldn’t be happier. Obviously, we do plan on producing more of these ‘LIVEwire’ events at some stage, and work is tentatively taking place behind the scenes.

Our next project will be digital and, subject to a funding bid, we’re hoping to be making our announcement by the end of September. But for now, check out the video highlights and photo galleries on our events page.

We worked with local film-makers and photographers to produce top quality content for those of you who weren’t there in person, and to showcase what we do.

Huge thanks to Arts Council England to the funding, to everybody who attended, to the venues and co-promoters, and of course, to the performers.

This is one of my favourite projects I’ve ever worked on. See you all again when it’s safe. Matt x

The ninth of our Insta sessions features Casey Bailey. Casey is a writer, performer and educator, born and raised in Nechells, Birmingham. Casey released his debut collection ‘Adjusted‘ in 2018 with Verve Poetry Press and had his play ‘GrimeBoy’ commissioned by Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Casey’s poetry has featured in a number of anthologies and he was commissioned by the BBC to write ‘The Ballad of The Peaky Blinders’ in 2019. Casey has performed his poetry nationally and internationally.

Continue reading “Insta sessions #9: Casey Bailey on 14 July”