Archives for the month of: February, 2018

It’s official: Lyn Gardner has scrambled my brain. I’m not complaining about The Guardian’s theatre critic. In fact, I want to use this blog to thank her for freeing up the arts reviewer within me.lyn

Today I attended what I guess was a masterclass in arts/theatre reviewing led by Lyn in Newcastle’s Dance City. The session was supposed to start at 11am but poor Lyn was stuck on the East Coast train line. Thankfully the other workshop attendees and I amused ourselves until she turned up before 1pm.

Lyn packed a great deal into a few hours. My notes list websites, plays, writers and advice from Lyn. In the margin I’ve scribbled “Honest opinion matters. Good writing is in the eye of the beholder. The more you write, the better writer you become.”

Lyn shared her thoughts and opinions but kept asking us what we thought and what we liked. She was full of enthusiasm for theatre and critical writing.

I feel inspired, “freed up” and ready to write more reviews for North East Reviews




My friend the writer and artist Gail Curry was mugged outside her shop and gallery in Whitley Bay and now stutters as a result of the ordeal. I was originally billed as her co-host for this event but we’ve decided to swap places on Tuesday night. I will speak Gail’s answers to questions she will pose as well as read her poems.

I think there’s still time to book a place for Lines from an Unfinished Love Song with Gail Curry at 7.30pm 13th February Cullercoats Library. For information contact (0191) 6432073 or any North Tyneside Library.

Do you fancy sampling  a creative Smörgåsbord next weekend? Then join me at the Shipley Art Gallery on Saturday 10th February for Express Yourself, a half day filled with workshops in collaboration with Gateshead writing group The Scribblers and the Shipley Art Gallery.

11am – 1pm (including break)  Take part in three different half hour workshops:

1.The Scribblers  will be running taster writing sessions inspired by Trench Art and Memory.

2. I’ll be offering one to one “Dr Cusack” mentoring sessions on writing and performance.

3. The Shipley’s Ruth Sheldon will be showing you how to make chapbooks.

1pm – 2pm   I’ll give a quick introduction about performance before a show and tell sessions where participants will share work written in the morning or any other short piece they’d like to perform.

If you’d like to book a ticket for Express Yourself they cost £2.50 (BARGAIN!) and you buy them here

Particpants are asked to bring writing they might want to make into a chapbook plus work they want to share from 1pm to 2pm.

We’ll have tea, coffee and water on offer but I suggest you bring a packed lunch as there’s no cafe in the gallery.

There is another literary event after Express Yourself. From 2pm to 3pm The Shipley will host  Poems After The Blaydon Races: Centenary Launch. You are invited to join Shipley’s poet in resident Jo Clement and The Scribblers for a special poetry reading to launch an anthology inspired by William C Irving’s painting The Blaydon Races. For more information click here


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