Saw Derren Brown – the master mentalist at the Swansea Grand Theatre tonight. From the word go he had the thousand strong audience in the palm of his hand and kept us all captivated for almost three hours. I would love to be able to write a little about what he did but he’s sworn us all to secrecy. Suffice it to say that fans of his TV show clearly loved every moment of it. Me? A little disappointed; not enough “tricks” for me to de-construct (part of the fun for me is trying to work out how he did it) and not as much tension as I would like to see in a show like this. But great fun for all of that.
Now that I live in the peace and quiet of the Welsh countryside, a journey back to metropolitan England can be quite a shock to the system. Nottingham seems busier than ever – and none the worse for that. It would be great to spend a little more time there and to explore some new things about the city. Fascinating to see lots of “living statue” style buskers on a Saturday – including this fellow who had a huge crowd around him. Now, where can i get my hands on ears like those?
Back in Nottingham at the weekend to meet up with my eldest two, Holly and Jake, for a belated Father’s Day celebration. Holly treated me to a ticket to one of the city’s regular walking tours – “Heroes & Villains” led by David, pictured above. He had some great stories to tell about people of the past from Robin Hood and Lord Byron to Brian Clough and Torvill & Dean. Well worth a go if you find yourself in the city although do allow a little over two hours to take the walk.
I am always looking at news ways to advertise the Creepy Carmarthen Tour. The “new town” (that’s the one built by the Normans rather than the “old” Roman one) is a Heritage Zone and any form of advertising is frowned on by the council official who oversees such thing. It prevents them advertising the Tourist Information Centre properly, among other things, and is clearly daft.
My letter to the council committee chairman asking her to consider the walk as a special case (lie the Bizarre Bath walk, for example) went unanswered so I thought I would do my own guerilla advertising – hence these new posters. I put up two of them today to promote tonight’s planned walk. Probably far too hot for a walking tour tonight but let’s see what happens.
I made my debit performance in Tenby on Friday night, appearing alongside one of the UK’s leading storytellers, Daniel Morden. He had the place literally spellbound with his stories including a marvellous reworking of Cinderella. Phil Okwedy made a great host, although sadly he only had time in a busy evening to tell one story himself. My set – the opening of Strange Tales – went down really well with the audience in a packed Caffe Vista (and well worth a visit if you find yourself in Tenby – the view from the balcony and the bow window overlooking the harbour was sensational). Sadly Phil says the club has come to the end of its launch budget from the Beyond the Border Festival and Arts Council Wales, but he his hoping the club will continue with the next meeting due in September.
As a time-served BBC Radio presenter it’s always strange to be on the “other end” of the microphone as an interviewee rather than the interviewer. Here I am on BBC Radio Wales on Saturday June 7th chatting to Tom Price on his afternoon show about the Creepy Carmarthen tour.
Hear the interview my clicking here to find it on my Spooky Magic Company home page.
Sssh! Don’t tell a soul but I will be performing at Beyond the Border this year. I had tried to talk the festival’s artistic director into giving me a slot at the event but he said, not unfairly, that he hadn’t heard of me. Obviously I am doing my best to redress that now having performed in front of BYB’s chairwoman and one of the committee members. Hopefully they will get the chance to catch me in the Milgi Lounge in the evenings where I will be taking up “open mic” sessions over the weekend.
Richard Berry from the Cardiff Storytelling Circle is hosting more telling opportunities in the Tepee during the week. I’ll try and be there too, if I can.
Just a week to go before I make my début at Caffe Vista in Tenby where there is a monthly storytelling club.
Phil Okwedy hosts the sessions with Daniel Morden topping the bill. I will be telling a handful of stories in the first half of the evening. This will probably be a similar set to the one that went down so well recently during my debit at the Swansea club.
It looks to be an amazing venue with great views over the harbour – and some nice food to be had before the gig. Hope to see you there on Friday 13th (now that’s what I call an auspicious date to start at a new venue!)
You never know who you will meet never on a Creepy Carmarthen tour. Last week’s visitors included a lovely couple from Cardiff and two Dutch visitors who were kind enough to give me a very generous tip at the end of the tour on Saturday night. Tonight’s walk includes a pair of honeymooners who thought that the spooky town tour “would be something really unique to help us remember our time in Wales”.
Rain or shine the tour starts tonight in front of the Guildhall in Carmarthen – or sheltering under the porch if the promised rain arrives.