Wednesday, 24 April 2013

World Book Night at Florence

WE didn't have any books to give away on World Book Night but that wasn't going to stop us celebrating the event. And very kindly, Carlisle author Brindley Hallam Dennis - also known as Mike Smith (pictured) - came to give us a talk on all things 'booky'. A year ago he started Litcaff at Merienda's cafe in Carlisle (it meets on the third Wednesday of each month) and we can  only hope that he has lit another literary flame with his meeting at Florence. Brindley introduced us to the literary landscape of Cumbria - and some of the famous and less famous writers he has come across. The likes of HE Bates, Vivien Jones and AE Coppard were discussed during the two-hour event at Florence Mine, Egremont as well as advice on writing and getting published. It whetted our appetite for having a go ourselves. Mike is a teacher and we're hoping it will be possible to set up a creative writing course with him at Florence. And the seed of a "Litmine" was planted with regular meetings for those who want to write or just enjoy good writing. Watch this space!


BHDandme - Brindley's blog
Pewter Rose Press - where you can buy Brindley's books
Litcaff - the Carlisle literary meet-up
New Writing North - an essential website for writers
Liars League London
Florence Mine
Last Writes - a micro site devoted to the exhibition

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Music and comedy in equal measure

Can a musical note reach so high that it gets stuck in the rafters? And can you play tennis with a musical note? (apparently you can). And what happens when a 'live' video feed of a band starts playing a different tune to the band itself?!
These and other questions were answerd by the New Rope String band when their Pythonesque view of the world was brought to Florence Mine, Egremont, Cumbria. And to a full house at Florence. This band obviously has a huge following with people coming from all over Cumbria to see them. It was easy to see why. Yes, they're accomplished musicians but it's the comic way they use the music that makes them so entertaining.
At one point they set up a video camera apparently showing a live feed of them performing on stage - but then their video selves started mucking about and going 'off script'. A fight even broke out between the real musicians and the video ones! Quite surreal but terrific fun.
Pete Challoner, Tim Dalling and Jock Tyldesley make up the band and demonstrate that being able to sing or play an instrument is only the first step in 'putting on a show'. This was live theatre at its best and a tremendous, energetic, mind-boggling night of entertainment.
The show was put on with the help of Arts out West and the New Rope String band are performing at other venues in Cumbria throughout May. Find out more at