I was recently applying for some funding and the application asked me to detail all the pieces I had been commission to write over the past few years. I realised that there were quite a few that I really like! So I collated them all on this little ‘Commissions’ page here, if any one wants a peek…
HEY INTERNET! (Specifically people on the internet who live in BRISTOL, BRIGHTON and LONDON).
THREE more shows ever, and then we’re putting her to bed forever. So you should come to one of these if you want to see it!
BRISTOL on Tues 2ns Sept @ Live in the Lion’s Den @ The Golden Lion, Gloucester Rd. Its kind of a warm up / run through so we’re going on early. Come down around 7.45 if you want to catch it cos we’re NEVER doing it in Bristol again!
BRIGHTON on Thursday 4th Sept @ Hammer & Tongue, Komedia, Gardener Street, Brighton. With support from the brilliant Steve Pottinger and an open poetry slam! £5/£6 https://www.facebook.com/events/803874579657820/
LONDON on Monday 8th Sept @ Hammer & Tongue, Green Note Cafe, Camden. With support from Abbas Maysam Z and the Hammer & Tongue Camden regional slam final! https://www.facebook.com/events/668194913262932/?fref=ts
We are so sad to be doing out last ever Folly’s. but it is TIME, so please come and share our last hurrah! To read more about Folly, click here, and to read our reviews from the Adelaide Fringe, click here.
I’m gearing up to lead a series of poetry and creative writing workshops in Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea for super brilliant Somerset-based arts charity Take Art (http://www.takeart.org/) who I have had the pleasure to work for before. The workshop are running through July and August and are going to be going on in Schools, Youth Groups and Community Centres around the two towns. Some workshops are open access so anyone in the area should contact Take Art for further info!
I’m performing at Glastonbury this weekend on the Poetry & Words stage. I’m very nervous and super excited. This beautiful write-up from fellow poet and official Glastonbury blogger Deanna Rodger has made me feel a bit less nervous though!..
‘Sally Jenkinson –
Oh yes! This post may just be my favourite to write!!! I LOVE this woman, I love her face her hugs her chatter her laugh and most importantly her words. Subtle and gentle, she lifts you through her poems of complicated feeling as if you are silk in a late summer breeze, and as if that wasn’t enough she has the most endearing stage chatter. Get your hugs ready! See her on stage on Friday at 13.40 and Saturday at 12.25′
I called this blog post ‘Home and Away’ because I’m home, techinically, home, as in, back in Bristol, but I’m away a lot with gigs and stuff at the moment. So I’m home and away. Also, I’ve just got back from Australia, where the TV show Home and Away was set. It’s funny, see?
I was in Australia for three months, touring our show ‘Folly’ at The Adelaide Fringe with my co-conspirator, troubadour and original South Australian babe Nuala Honan. We had a little home scattered with props-in-the-making and promotional paper aeroplanes and flyers and avocadoes and an army of ants and, I’ll be honest, makeup and dirty dresses and rinsed-out swimwear and bobby pins. We sweated, toiled, chatted-up, blagged and drove for miles to makes gigs happen in Adelaide and Melbourne. We nearly melted. We dipped in and out of the sea like it ain’t no thing. We owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the skills, kindness, hard work and generosity of Iggy, Marg and Liam Honan, Mark Fitzgerald, Chris May, Sim and George and The Grace Emily Hotel staff, Leigh and The Deli staff, the choas and delight and welcoming that is the Melbourne poetry scene, the brilliant and hardworking and SO friendly Adelaide Fringe, and Arts Council England and The British Council who gave us an Artist’s International Development Grant. Then we were home in England and it was rainy mid-March, and it felt like we might have dreamt the whole thing. But we DIDN’T, we DID IT, and we are better and braver and more consumate performers and artist for the experience. What a wonderful experience.
I wasn’t sure what projects would present themselves once I poked my head out of the jet-lag duvet, but there are exciting things afoot for the summer… The programme for the Wandering Word stage which I help to programme at Boomtown and Shambala festival is shaping up to be as beautiful, original and treat-spangled line-up of poetry and music as you could wish to see on one stage. We can’t wait for August!
I’m booked to perform at WOMAD and Glastonbury festival which I’m SO excited about. I’m also going to be working with a brilliant and innovative project in MEXBOROUGH (an ex-mining town in South Yorkshire, really near where I grew up) which is going to combine Mexborough’s history as a centre for potteries with some amazing contemporary potters / clay scupltures who live and work there now, and the stories and tales that we can pursuade the good people of Mexborough to tell us about their lives and history! I am going to be a sort of poet-in-residence, producing work based on all of these things. Its going to be so wonderful to write about somewhere so close to my childhood and learn all these new (but old, but new) stories and mould some fresh new work out of them all. I’m so proud and pleased to be involved. More on that soon! There’s a little info about it here http://rightupourstreet.org.uk/blogs/blog/mexpac-making-unpacking-potted-history
The month of May is going to be really full, which feels like I’m officially back to real life and work. I’ve been working really hard to set up TWO May editions of the variety / cabaret-type mixed arts night that I run with some friends at The Attic in Bristol, Phantom Laundry.
The first edition is on thurs May 15th and features a brilliant, multi-genre, collaborative bunch of wonderful bands and musician called High Cross Society. Their stuff is truly joyful and original, and they will be supported by beautiful poets Rebecca Tantony and Toby Thompson, with DJ Dad leading us all to the dancefloor afterwards like some kind of silver-haired, killer-records-wielding Pied Piper.
The second edition of Phantom Laundry is on May 29th and features (oh my goodness) living legend Ian McMillan (BBC Radio 3’s The Verb, Coast, You & Yours, Pick of the Week), who is obviously a bit famous because of his TV and Radio appearances, but is more importantly a brilliant and original poet and a wonderful performer and raconteur. I grew up with his poems (he is from Barnsley, just down the road from Doncaster) and he is a hero of mine, so I’m so proud and excited to be hosting him at Phantom Laundry.
And even before those two events which I’m curating, I’m going on a little mini-tour for Hammer & Tongue next week. Hammer & Tongue have events country-wide, and they also are great because they have an open slam system which feeds into a bigger national slam in London once a year, so its a really great way of uncovering new, brilliant poets and sharing them with the nation! I did a set at Hammer & Tongue Bristol this evening, and the depth and contrast of the slammers was sooooo brilliant. I love hearing new poets and poems, its so exciting! Next week I’ll be in Camden at The Green Note Cafe on Monday, in Oxford at The Old Fire Station on tuesday, and Cambridge at The Fountain on wednesday, then thursday back to Bristol for Phantom Laundry at The Attic! Woah, busy week!
So that’s it, unfortunately no longer basking in the South Australian sun, no longer gallavanting around being an international artist on the other side of the world. But one adventure finished to make room for more to begin and, perhaps if I approach May as an ‘adventure’ rather than thebusiestmonthever, then I’ll be less frazzled by the end of it! Adventures. Planes, trains and megabuses. Exciting.
I’ve done some of these already cos I forgot to finish this list earlier. Still…
-16th March. Poetry Puplit @ The Left Bank, Bristol. FREE
-27th March. Hatfield Open Mic @ Hatfields Pub, Doncaster. FREE. (I’m doing a featured slot and its the town I grew up in and I’m very excited about it)
-30th March. Sunday Circus @ All Hallows Hall, Easton, Bristol. FREE. 12noon with Alice Phelps and Katy Storer.
-10th April. Pen:chant @ 3 Minute Theatre, Manchester. £5. With Ben Mellor, Leonie Higgins, Liz Greenfield and Alabaster DePlume (who are all BRILLIANT)
-12th April. Davefest @ The Lower Lode Inn, near Tewksbury
-Saturday 19th April @ The Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol. Supporting Raphael Attar’s ‘World’s Greatest Everything’ Details here
-Sunday 27th April. Vanessa Kissuule’s Book Launch (exciting!) @ Lashings Coffee House, Gloucester Road, Bristol. Details here
-Monday 5th May. Still Jam extravaganza @ All Hallow’s Hall, Easton, Bristol. Details TBC but its gonna be beautiful.
-Wednesday 7th May. Hammer & Tongue Bristol @ The Bird Cage, Bristol
-Monday 12th May. Hammer & Tongue Camden @ The Green Note Cafe, London
-Tuesday 13th May. Hammer & Tongue Oxford @ The Old Fire Station, Oxford
-Wedneday 14th May. Hammer & Tongue Cambridge @ The Fountain, 12 Regent Street, Cambridge
-Thursday 15th May. Phantom Laundry presents… High Cross Society, Toby Thompson, Rebecca Tantony and Silver Tortoise, DJ Dad. (I’m hosting). Details here.
-Thurday 29th May. Phantom Laundry presents… Ian McMillan (yes you read that right, IAN MCMILLAN), Anna Freeman and Lori Campbell. I’m hosting. And maybe saying some poems. Tickets HERE (get ‘em quick).
-Friday / Saturday 27th / 28th June. Glastonbury Festival (meep!), Poetry & Words Stage.
-Saturday/Sunday 26th / 27th July. Womad Festival.
I’m gathering these reviews all in one place, place partly for posterity and partly so I can link to them all at once. We’re half way through our fringe run, so if you’re an Adelaidian make sure to catch Folly at one of the following dates, before we have to fly back to rainy old England!
Wed 26th February – Grace Emily Hotel (8pm)
Thurs 27th February – The Deli (9pm)
Sat 1st March – The Deli (9pm)
Sun 2nd March – The Deli (9pm)
Tues 4th March – Grace Emily Hotel (8pm)
Here’s what the rags said…
RIP IT UP MAGAZINE
‘In this hour-long prose poem set to music, English poet Sally Jenkinson and Australian guitarist Nuala Honan combine their considerable talents to take the audience on a trip of escape and self-discovery to the first world.
As the great adventure unfolds, this true-life recounting of a sometimes chaotic search for greener grass provides contemplative, funny and stirring moments.
Jenkinson’s words offer many lyrical highlights, painting some appealing and vivid images along the way. It would probably work in isolation as a spoken word piece but the addition of the musical score augments the poetry and makes this a performance that audiences of all types will enjoy. Honan’s inspired playing ranges from the lightest of touches to driving rhythms that match the vocals for power. It’s also quite lovely to look at; inexplicably visually lush.
All up, Folly provides a delightful night out for the eyes, ears and mind.’
ON DIT MAGAZINE
Review: Folly – A Miserable Yorkshire Poetry Musical
Words: Daisy Freeburn
‘In the little back room in the Grace Emily, in the corner of a small stage, stood a bare tree lit with warm light. It was a small show – only about 20 seats. When the two performers, Sally Jenkinson and Nuala Honan, got up on stage, they could see every single one of our faces. I love this, the feeling of knowing the performers somehow.
Nuala’s gentle acoustic guitar set the mood of the play as a down-to-earth experience, with just the soft strumming of the guitar and Sally’s poetry being the only sounds. With each new part of the story, a token of sorts would be hung on the tree, gathering in the end to be a symbol of the show as a whole.
Toy aeroplanes, beer bottles, ferns, wooden beads accumulated as Sally told tales of travels throughout South-East Asia. At times, I was befuddled by whether she was mocking the typical white travellers who go overseas to poorer countries to make themselves feel good, or whether she was in the same boat as them. Nevertheless, her gorgeous prose and storytelling, paired with Nuala’s music, moved me. Especially the bit about aeroplanes. I, like Sally, hate aeroplanes.
I was confused about what they were trying to say to us in certain parts of the story. However, the overwhelming sense of homesickness and cyclone-in-your-mind feelings while travelling, conveyed so strongly through the show, is what I felt as I watched. With that, I could empathise.
See it for the beauty of words and the feeling of music. You might get something completely different out of it than I did. But that’s what’s so good about poetry and music.’
FRINGE – Folly – 4K
by rupert hogan turner
‘Folly is a forlorn tale of travel, lucid poetry describing the trials and tribulations of being a first world traveller in the second and third worlds. The show has the feel of picking up a travel journal half way through and peering deeply into another travellers mind. The performance was warm and cosy, the performers genuine and enthralling. There is a visceral sense of authenticity which draws the listeners further into the world being described to them.
The show is a culmination of the spoken word poetry of Sally Jenkinson and the soft blues guitar of Nuala Honan. Emotions run wild as the audience follows Jenkinson’s tale of traversing foreign shores. Jenkinson’s soft voice and beautiful accent heightened the audience’s attentions. Jenkinson speaks with emotion but at points seems erratic and anxious. The anxiety was clearly a portion of the role but at times seemed overdone.
Honan’s exemplary voice and melodies coupled Jenkinson’s emotive phrases. Her adroit strumming and resonant voice captured the emotions of Jenkinson’s spoken words. Honan’s tunes harmonised with Jenkinson’s poetry to create a moving atmosphere.
The soothing guitar and soft spoken words inspired a diverse range of poignant emotions; from the erratic unease of boarding the initial flight to the light-hearted humour and intense affection of a holiday romance.
The show accurately portrays the diverse array of emotions one is subject to when travelling, particularly when travelling alone. The language is eloquent and the delivery is affecting. The show leaves you feeling calm, almost meditative, but also with a prominent desire to travel. Anyone who has travelled the world can relate to the apprehension and uncertainty; to be home among the places you recognise and the people you love.’
Kryztoff Rating 4K
Tags: 2014, Fringe, Homesick Productions, Music, Poetry
TALK FRINGE REVIEWS
‘A terrific show with a perhaps misleading by-line. This is miserableness in the tradition of Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe1a1wHxTyo). It is a funny and moving show the expertly mixes musical and poetic storytelling. The poetry, from Sally Jenkinson, a Yorkshire wordsmith with an endearingly idiosyncratic style, riffs on the impulse to flee and find ourselves and adventure in exotic locals, and our confused and bemused attempts to explain why we did it and what we learnt. Behind and around it is an impressive and powerful soundscape from Nuala Honan, a dynamo solo artist in her own right. With all the taught energy of a caged musical lioness her harmonies, rhythms and percussions provide an atmospheric backing that conveys all the barely contained emotions of the jilted lover, the lost soul, the wondrous traveller, the jaded backpacker’s despair and the explosive joy of a new resolution. Check it out.’