Where the f*ck is Horwich?

Blog from Rachel on May’s Open Mic

It was windy oot and warm in on Tuesday evening for the monthly Inky Fingers Open Mic. The night was one of strong accents and dark voices, and a slight amount of winging it as one of our headlining acts, the delectable Catherine Brogan, was stuck on a slip road somewhere north of Manchester.

Cat’s in the midst of a poetry hitchike around the UK, and was finding the M6 none-too-friendly. With an eye on the phone screen for updates, we ploughed in with fine style, welcoming stories from featured performer Morag Edward and a full slate of Open Mic-ers.

Harry kicked things off by debuting two poems, including a devious little seduction posed from HBO’s The Wire begging us to ‘Click me’. (Although it turns out that Inky audiences – me included – are comprised more of Dr Who than Wire watchers, whatever that says about us).

Morag served up two lushly dark stories, one filled with gullshit spattered harbours and vanity in a fur pelt, the other with an elderly couple with a thoroughly unexpected selection of tools in their garden shed and an aversion to lentil pie.  She’ll be performing next Wednesday with Writer’s Bloc for their intriguing ‘Mr Big Society’ night at The Wee Red Bar.

We’ve been saying for a while at Inky HQ (which doesn’t exist  as a real place, by the way. Only in the sporadic flurries of excitement and activity in cyberspace, and fortnightly IRL in a huddled corner of Forest’s front room. Where we get excited and plan stuff. And oh my, but there is SUCH stuff coming up. And we’d like you to get involved, we really would.) that every month of Open Mic brings so much excitement. The diversity and standard of writing and performance in Edinburgh is inspiring, and we’re ever passionate about making sure that the opportunities exist for familiar and new faces to read their stuff.

On Tuesday, we were thrilled, delighted, repulsed, convulsed, touched and excited by: Tracey Rosenberg’s take on the difficulties of being an essential supporting companion in ‘Time Lord’s Job Advertisement’; Jake Lawy’s measured rhymes and sick shamanic verses; Louise Boyd (who wins for attention grabbing introductions by getting up on stage and delicately announcing that she really needed a wee) with a gruesome family heirloom; Alec Beattie’s lingering image of the ‘pavement glue’ that sticks those who stay in their hometowns; Morgan Halvorsen with a charming and charmed Thumbelina-sized taster of the Gynaecological Monologues, to be premiered at the Inky Finger Minifest in August; Keith Mackie causing Douglas Adams to roll over and sigh with a foul Glasgae version of Hitchhiker’s Guide; and Katherine McMahon tingling with icy autumn swims and a brinesoaked memory of childhood by the sea.

Second half, Cat let us know they were still on the road. We were able to link up some video footage of the hitchhike and her brilliant performances, then on with t’show…

Ever welcomed Inky return readers Caitlynn Cummings and Lindsay Ure lent their sultry tones to extracts from wider works-in-progress: Caitlynn with a wry, dry extract from ‘Gravestone Carver’ and Lindsay with a pitch perfect Deep South drawl taking us to a creekside campfire and a ravelling friendship.

First timers Livvi Walker and Sam Birchall gave us respective perspectives on a sensory plunge through a tangled dream, and meditations on Romantic ideals and sounds trapped behind the tongue. George Anderson’s story on dementia and Rat Pack memories in ‘No Wonder My Happy Heart Sings’ was at once heartbreakingly brutal and tender, and was followed by Rose Fraser waltzing us through a burlesque carnival of sweat and sex and lost innocence in polka dots. The night finished with Gavin Inglis chilling with South Pacific storms and faltering planes (so appropriate for the night), and then a irresistible afrobeat sendoff from Forest regulars Manje.


See you next month…

R xx

PS: Cat & crew’s determined but ultimately doomed attempt to get from Manc to Ed in time. We’ll get you again, lass, and good luck with the rest of it, it’s a brilliant project.