The Write to Speak group has become an extended family and like all families they like to get together for a bit of a do.
The chosen venue is the local Adelphi Club - round at mad Uncle Paul's house.
Like any mad uncle's house, it's small, messy and always full of waifs and strays. You certainly wouldn't eat there but its home all the same.
'Dad', Mike (Watts) is busy arranging everyone, making sure they are all on time.
Cadging drinks at every opportunity, he oversees the festivities. They are a diverse, modern family with tales-a-plenty.
Enter Uncle Mark Walmsley. He has man flu again, but this time it's bad.
He used to be a crack commando (shortly before their lass threw him out and shopped him to the social).
Next come the girls, all gob and glamour. Kerry-Joe (Pulford) is staying alive, Bronny's (Ellis) been to charity shop (and looks great) and Holly (Roach) is gonna rip someone's face off for staring at her boyfriend. You don't mess with these chicks!
Grandad Dave Bannister is telling his war stories - it's said that he knew Churchill personally and battled a Messerschmitt with his bare hands.
Second cousin Rob (Swan) is battling with tourettes and shouts 'Cunt', loudly. He's amongst friends here but he's been banned from Netto again. This time, for life.
Things are getting rowdy, Mohamed (Haidir) is here. He's third cousin, twice removed; the European arm of the family - Shirley's lad. He's 'down wiv da yoof, bruv' and goes into one. The crowd loves him. 'Dad' gives him a high-five and goes to mingle.
Auntie Cath (Scott) has been on the Babycham again and her 'Cock-a-fucking-doodle-doo' can be heard for miles. She is suffering sleep deprivation and the local RSPCA have been alerted.
It's dodgy video time and in true party tradition, they have to be aired. Posh auntie Pam (Scobie) is telling of child killers and our Terry (Ireland) is complaining of fleas - or were the fleas complaining of him, not sure? Nana's (Pat Gray) been done for drunk driving. Again.
It's time for dad's guest of honour, 'Me mate, Dennis' (Wild). He's come all the way from Oz to be here. No expense has been spared.
He travelled 12,000 miles and ended up on Witherensea beach, covered in sea weed. They dried him off and 'med 'im a brew'. In no time at all, he was good as new.
After a great set, he was sent off with his bus fare and some sarnies and headed off, back North of Bewilderment with the promise of a speedy return and a touch of pleurisy.
Next up is alternative Ashley (Fisher). Telling cautionary tales of Messiah Airways, ascending to the great hereafter on a one way ticket. Although I feel that most of these guests are heading for warmer climes and won't make this passenger list?
It's dad's turn to take the mike. He tells his usual story about how he picked up this rich bird then wins a scratch card - more like scratched his arse and robbed a bird. He's such a gobshite.
'Mum', Cilla has been furiously working away behind the scenes for weeks now.
She's been living off coffee and fags and is knackered.
It's been a great night but she can't wait for them all to 'frigg off 'ome'
The 'Write' family have lots of friends. Some old, some new and yes most of them look like they belong in a police line-up but it's been a great crack and the usual suspects will be here for the next one.
It's been a privilege to spend time with this talented, multicultural bunch. There's more talent here than you could shake a mike stand at. Anyone who thought Hull was devoid of passion has been sorely disabused.
Oh, just one more thing. Who exactly IS this Larkin geezer?
Reviews, Films - Avatar - iMax Cinema, London By Michelle Dee
I'd seen the clips and a brief 'making of' documentary on Film 2010 but nothing prepared me for the complete immersion into James Cameron's spectacular vision. I wasn't sure how I'd get on with the whole 3D thing, I worried it wouldn't work for me; how wrong was I.
London's iMax cinema on the south bank is huge and was apparently sold out that day although there were a number of
Reviews, Books - Missio by Tim Roux Reviewed by Clive Ashman
Thirty-six years ago, at the height of the West's Cold War with the then Soviet Union, a Hull fishing trawler called The Gaul and its thirty-six crew suddenly disappeared in the freezing waters of the Barents Sea, off the cost of Norway. Hundreds of miles from home, and hundreds of feet down, the fate of the missing vessel and its lost crew continued to haunt their grieving relatives and the whole City of Hull for the next thirty years (and Stevie Francis).
Reviews, Books - Triple Trawler Fiction - Clinging to the Wreckage Reviewed by Tim Roux
By the 1960s, there was still a significant deep sea trawler fleet fishing out of Hull but only three literary figures had as yet been associated with the city: Andrew Marvell, a seventeenth century politician and poet, Winifred Holtby, author of South Riding, and Stevie Smith, a poet and novelist whose most famous line is 'not waving but drowning'.
Reviews, Arts - Contents May Vary at Red Gallery in Hull Contemporary Art Continues Despite the Big Freeze By Michelle Dee. Photographs courtesy Andrew Quinn
While the city of Hull struggled against the adverse weather conditions on Friday 8th January and people tried in vain to get home after many businesses were closed earlier than usual, a group of dedicated contemporary artists were preparing for the opening night of Contents May Vary at Red Gallery in the city.
Battling against all odds, the show opened on time just minutes
Reviews, Books - Seers by Karen Wolfe Reviewed by Tim Roux
Ever since the publication of The Philosopher's Stone, I have been troubled by a niggling concern. It doesn't keep me awake at night but I do regularly accost strangers and ask them, 'Whatever happened to Harry Potter's grandparents?'
Harry Potter was a baby when his parents were killed. His parents look like they were in their twenties, max. thirties.
Reviews, Books - Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill Reviewed by Tim Roux
Over the last couple of years, Nick Quantrill has made an enviable reputation for himself as a highly accomplished true-to-the-gospels (of St. Elmore Leonard and St. Raymond Chandler) crime fiction writer who reliably delivers precisely crafted plots, authentic hardboiled dialogue and classic PI fisticuffs action.
His tales are suffused with an atmosphere of compounding tension
Reviews, Books - The Unitary Authority Of Ersatz by Rich Sutherland Reviewed by Tim Roux
You know when you are sitting there typing away at your new book and suddenly a million tons of waterfall cascade all over you and sweep you away, and there is nothing you can do to resist as you tumble mid-air among all those words and ideas, but you know that when you hit the pool at the bottom, and should you survive, you will be handed a tick-box questionnaire by the publisher
Reviews, Books - Breaking Faith by Stuart Aken Reviewed by Tim Roux
One of the great pleasures of reading indie authors is that they are often literary Luddites, exuberantly smashing the commercial frameworks imposed on their more industrially-produced cousins, replacing them with a more zestful, fresh, individual and, might I say, compelling approach to their work.
It is not that they do not recognise as well as anyone the existence of the rules
Reviews, Books - A Book at Christmas Reviewed by Tim Roux
About eighteen months ago I decided to look around and see who else was writing books in the Hull and
East Riding region, much encouraged by discovering the work of Hull crime fiction and gangster authors
Nick Quantrill and Danny Birch.
I thought that there would only be a few of us knocking about, veritable prophets on our own shifting
mud banks, but Nick Quantrill and Rich Sutherland (then at Waterstones) Read more...
Reviews, Theatre - Tuesday 27th October 09 - Write To Speak Featuring Kate Tempest and Matt Panesh at Hull Truck By Dick Spring
The consistency in stunning quality of acts brought to perform at this night (which is Yorkshire's only theatre based spoken word / poetry night) by Hull poet Joe Hakim is simply phenomenal.
With another fantastic and packed house, it was a thoroughly enjoyable event.
Opened as usual by Hull's flag bearing poet in residence Joe Hakim and his stage partner Mike Watts, their competence and stagecraft is second to one, with lots of good interaction
Reviews, Theatre - Tuesday 27th October 09 - Write To Speak Featuring Kate Tempest and Matt Panesh at Hull Truck By Michelle Dee
Just had to write something about Tuesday's Write To Speak at Hull Truck Theatre. The regular event showcases the best poetry and spoken word from around the country.
Tonight we have the incredible vocal dexterity of Kate Tempest (London) and the poems, ponderings
and profane humour of Matt Panesh (Manchester) on his Welcome to the U.K. tour.
Reviews, Theatre - Write to Speak featuring Kate Fox and Scarlet Lights at Hull Truck - Wednesday 16th September 09 By Mark Walmsley
The first performance of the new season of Write to Speak came round pretty quickly and most definitely replicated the first gig a year ago with regards to support and talent.
On a personal level, I fully understood what was on offer and although the event didn't seem very well advertised, I was notified by thisisUll the day before and without a hesitation changed my appointments for the big day in order that I made sure I was there for the kick off, in fact I was
Reviews, Theatre - Wednesday 16th September 2009 - Scarlet lights Theatre Company Performs Retail is Detail at Write to Speak at Hull Truck Theatre By Danielle Rhodes
Retail Is Detail is undoubtedly a 'maverick' production of contemporary comedy, embodying a highly versatile and compatible cast as rare as rocking horse shit. From start to finish the audience is inflamed by the radiance from the performer's energy and fast pace scenes.
The play displays a young educated girl facing unemployment, regrettably a conventional product of the current recession. In her despairing attempt to find employment
Reviews, Theatre - Write to Speak featuring Tony Walsh and Dennis Just Dennis at Hull Truck - Wednesday 15th June 09 By Mark Walmsley
The third and final Write to Speak event of this season at the Hull Truck Theatre on Wednesday 15th July, was headlined by two nationally acclaimed performance poets, Dennis Just Dennis and Tony Walsh, who both hail from Manchester.
The nights entertainment was introduced by local poet Joe Hakim who was, in effect 'on the subs bench' as far as performing on these occasions go.
Joe has a bigger challenge and I dare say a bigger audience to present himself to at the fourth
Latitude Festival in Suffolk where he is performing in the poetry arena on Sat 18th and
Sun 19th July.Read more...
Reviews, Theatre - Write to Speak featuring Luke Wright at Hull Truck - Monday 29th June 09 By Mark Walmsley
After attending the first Write to Speak session back in May featuring Mike Watts, Joe Hakim and Mandi Lowe, I certainly wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to attend the second instalment with Luke Wright on Monday night.
I arrived at pretty much the same time as the last Write to Speak performance at about 7.20 pm for an 8.00
Reviews, Films - Emma Rugg's Directions Tour By Steve Rudd
It's fair to say that it has been relatively quiet on the Emma Rugg front over the past couple of years. I, for one, thought she'd relocated to the United States in the wake of the Directions Tour she undertook there with Henry Doss in 2007. Having first made contact through the BBC radio show Raw Talent in 2003, Emma had visited Henry in the states on a couple of occasions prior to heading over to hit the Read more...
Reviews, Arts - Adrian Johnson: All Wound Up - Red Gallery exhibition, March-April 2009 By Philip Wincolmlee-Barnes
I am currently re-reading John Carey's The Intellectuals and The Masses, a fascinating (and sometimes troubling) survey of how the former regarded the latter from the late 19th Century until the 1930's.
He charts a course via Nietzsche's theories of 'the Superman vs. the common people' (guess his preference