Poetry Cafe at Hampton Hill Playhouse

© Suzy Rowland

I took this photo in 2014 when this modern theatre building in Hampton Hill was called the ‘Playhouse’. Little did I know when I took the photo that I would be treading the boards there in the future,  sharing spoken word poetry. Having a theatre so close to home is a huge asset. As an avid theatre goer, it’s an honour to excellent quality theatre without going into the West End. But to tread the boards there myself – in the Noel Coward studio – how thrilling!

The Poetry Cafe is the first event for the newly established Arts Richmond Poetry Hub, a collaboration with Arts Richmond, an organisation I’m involved with. It’s great to have a spotlight on poetry in the borough arts scene, within the wider arts context. I’m excited about the future of the Poetry Hub and the opportunities it will provide for poets in and around Richmond.

I’ve written before about the leap between writing poetry for the reader via the page (or ipad?) and writing to deliver directly to the audience. No filter. No interpretation time; it either works instantly or it doesn’t. I think anyone who is paying money to be entertained, should get their money’s worth. This is why I’m investing in a public speaking course, as well as rehearsing with the other poets, very hard.  I’m thinking about every detail to ensure I touch every single person through my delivery. It will be a challenge but one that I feel as a poet, I must rise to!

Poetry Cafe at Hampton Hill Theatre

What are your tips for poetry (or any) performance? How do you deal with nerves? I’d love you to get in touch and let me know!

Until then, I will break a leg…

© I give you words, like I give you gold – Suzy Rowland