Arts collaboration brings live performance back to Crediton

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Friday 21st August 2020 8:50 am
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Robert Garnham, the Professor of Whimsy.

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THE thrill and energy of live performance is something that many of us have missed during the Coronavirus crisis.

Now Poetic Licence has teamed up with Crediton Arts Centre to bring some of the best performance poets in the South West to Crediton’s Town Square on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

In a week that live events venues across the UK turned their lights red to highlight pressures on the live events sector, it has become increasingly apparent how important it is to find creative ways to help support the industry and to help people access the Arts at a time of crisis.

Crediton Town Team has supplied socially-distanced benches and tables in the town’s square in a bid to bring people together safely and combat the effects of loneliness during the pandemic.

Working with Crediton Arts Centre, they have produced "Share in the Square" - a series of live performance events in the square. Families and holidaymakers have been stopping for lunch or a coffee and to soak up the music and atmosphere over recent weekends, potentially helping to increase footfall to local businesses.

Poetic Licence, a local not-for-profit organisation that sets out to promote poetry and spoken word in the South West, is run by Ysella Sims and Jane Tipping.

It began as an open mic event, "Poetry in the Pub", at last year’s CredFest and has gone on to become a regular open mic event at The Lamb Inn in Sandford.

Like many others they had plans to take events out to venues in 2020 so are delighted to be helping to bring performance poetry back to Crediton and to have attracted a stellar lineup of performers.

Their "Share in the Square" headliner, Robert Garnham, aka "The Professor of Whimsy", has been entertaining UK audiences for over a decade and is an inveterate performer at the Edinburgh Fringe.

He said: "It’s going to be great to be in front of a real audience again, albeit socially distanced, and not a video app in my living room!

"There’s nothing more unusual as a Professor of Whimsy than to be performing to a coffee table and a magazine rack!”

He will be supported by current Bard of Exeter Tim King, the perennially popular goddess of performance poetry, Jackie Juno and the always electrifying Shelley Szender.

There will also be the opportunity to hear local voices in one of six open mic slots and music from local performers "Etchechuria" and Tony Miller.

The event, on Sunday, August 30, from 11am to 2pm in Crediton Town Square, is free.

Organisers ask that those attending follow the government social distancing guidelines.

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