On a balmy summer evening at the RADA Foyer Bar, former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, kept July's writLOUD crowd enthralled. Knowing the audience, Rosen stuck to his adult material, reading from his volume of Selected Poems
and a new release, Michael Rosen’s Big Book of Bad Things
. The poems, which focus on Rosen's childhood experiences, were fresh, accessible, and downright hilarious. His performance was a magnetic one, involving the audience at every turn in a display of true charisma and showmanship. Michael answered questions with intelligence, sensitivity, and his usual brand of anecdotal humour, offering insights into his early days as a medical student and tips on writing for a young readership.
Keeping in step with our guest, the evening was a veritable showcase of verse. Fiona Melrose kicked off with her elegant, atmospheric re-imaginings of the animal kingdom, which were followed by Jonathan Briggs’s ‘Great Expectations’, an intriguing poetical spin on Dicken’s seminal novel. After this, we heard from Lydia Hartland-Rowe, with a sequence of poems delivering humour and tenderness in equal measure and, next, Sarah Wilson read with great feeling poems which pierced to the heart with honesty and emotion. After the break, our readers turned to prose, beginning with a short story by Rita Dallas, in which wartime Wales was evoked with authenticity and an excellent eye for detail. Rebecca Cordingly kept us gripped until the very end of the evening with a chapter from her novel How Not To Do It, which had the audience in fits over the humiliations of a struggling young actress. Thanks to our audience for their generous donations to Oxfam and, as ever, to our hosts at RADA.
See you on 9 August for Mez Packer!