York event review

York Blog


Shared Earth, York  – My destination


As a claustrophobe

who is 30% control freak

the prospect

of  living within walls appeals.


The Minster

where the sceptical are converted

The wavering of faith

compelled to return


Sharp-edged houses

a book-width at the corners


natural single volume bookshelves


I discover 13 year old me

loitering in Shared Earth

in a blanket weaved of sandalwood

and whale sounds.


She wears a burgundy hooded top

I still wear now.

Colours of Autumn it says on the front,

But it always reminds her of York in Spring.


She carries her prizes to the checkout:

A dream-catcher,

worry dolls

and a treasure chest sparkling with false gems.


I echo these purchases

with equal enthusiasm,

but am sent to Paperchase

for the animal-themed writing paper.


York Poets


I loved Tanya Nightingale’s “The world where no-one lies”. I encountered and enjoyed the unforgettable performance styles of Rose Drew and Miles Salter. Chris Singleton’s T’was the night before pay day went down well. Amina Rose stood in for Kate Fox and her set was both gentle and musical. Pat Borthwick and Carole Bromley’s poems were packed with exquisite details. John Gilham provided us with a  ‘miserabalist catalogue’, his phrase, not mine, but the misery was so eloquent. Will Kemp’s poem about a family falling into water and keeping tally was touching and spare. Oz Hardwick joined in with the film noir theme, echoing one of my pieces and he and his partner led me circuitous way home to avoid drunk people and hen and stag dos, via the pasty shop, of course. 


York Stuff


Ok, things about York. The gig went well and as it was the first with a Box Office, I was panicking a bit when only 25 tickets had sold in advance – an audience of 55 filled the place up and more chairs had to be found!


Tony and Chantelle, from Liverpool, who sat opposite me on the train, all head-phones and nudging until our service was diverted by a fatality on the line. This rerouting meant headphones came off and stayed off and we talked of death, life, work and poetry.


Caroline, in property sales for 16 years, still feels the loss five years later.

The fact that no-one in York was from York. None of my performers were originally from York either. Hard to find anyone with the accent. I enjoy being cloaked in vowel sounds and colloquialisms. This felt like a pivotal character missing completely from an episode of a series.


To the girls in The Cornish Pasty Bakery and that local accent at last at 11pm at night, served up with a smile and a warm cheese scone.


The niece and aunt at breakfast who had come to York for the shops and did a sterling job of not selling Sunderland to me.


The lady in the Holgate Hill Hotel who is away from her dementia-suffering husband

To “recharge and hopefully get a bit lost!”. Nothing like getting lost with the luxury of having time to find your way and yourself again.


Meeting people further along the tour:


In the last month I have met up with a Birmingham performer and a Newcastle performer and the bonds being forged through The Quiet Compere Tour are strong. I am making some great connections and even though it is strange to meet virtual friends in reality, this has been such a positive experience on Quiet Compere Tour so far, I am hoping this vibe continues.  


Learning Curve


1)      No matter how many times you mention that the tour is Arts Council funded people will tick that they weren’t aware on the questionnaire.

2)      T-shirts are still not ready. Should be for Birmingham.

3)      Flyering/postering Birmingham may have made some new contacts, but not sure investment in time and train ticket is going to show in ticket sales. All York Questionnaires said heard by word of mouth or social media. However, if I can combine the promotional visit with an event, this may make travel over worthwhile.

4)      Get in a better position to take photos of guests.

5)      I am feeling a little sad that I am half way through the tour for promotion purposes. Each new flyer designed sends a shiver through me. Will just have to start planning the next venture!

PS The Leeds and Liverpool flyers/posters are on their way! T-shirts should arrive by Thursday. I have seen the designs and the excitement at seeing these has kept me from being to cross I haven’t got the real things yet. I will be sporting one in Birmingham on Friday!

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