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

Last night we celebrated our 5th birthday with a special online gig, featuring all of our acts on the same bill for the first time. We managed to broadcast the Zoom meeting live on Facebook, but unfortunately the YouTube broadcast didn’t work – so apologies if you were left stranded by that!

Anyway, the gig was a huge success, and at the time of typing, the Facebook video has had over 3.6k views. If you missed out and want to watch back, you can now stream the gig in its entirety on Facebook, YouTube (below) and IGTV. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks a mill to everybody that tuned in live.

It’s been a crazy 5 years of Nymphs & Thugs so far, but we’re only just getting started…

Nymphs & Thugs’ 5th birthday gig

As I’m sure you’ll have gathered, we’re having to postpone our spring events for the foreseeable future as a result of the COVID-19 pandemics. Obviously on the one hand we’re gutted about it, but at the same time, it’s clearly the safe and responsible thing to do.

To confirm, the postponed events are as follows:

  • LIVEwire Leeds No.4 with Toria Garbutt and Kevin P. Gilday on Wednesday 1 April
  • Chelping at The Leeds Library with Hollie McNish on Wednesday 22 April
  • LIVEwire Colchester with Luke Wright, Molly Naylor and Maria Ferguson on Wednesday 29 April

At this stage it’s impossible to say when we’ll be able to reschedule these, and as you know, the situation is changing drastically on a daily basis at the moment. My gut instinct would say that these will be in the autumn.

If you’ve bought a ticket for LIVEwire Leeds No.4, you’ll have already received an email from me with your options. I know that The Leeds Library are offering refunds for Chelping ticket holders, and you’ll have to contact Colchester Arts Centre directly regarding LIVEwire there.

As soon as we have a confirmed date for either of these events we’ll announce it, and fingers crossed we’ll be able to celebrate with a nice (safely) packed room!

Finally, an awful lot of artists are suffering really badly as a result of so many event cancellations, so if you can, please support them by buying their merch, sharing their work and maybe event donating to their various pages.

Stay safe and take care,
Matt x