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Lynda Berry reports from the Sprout Concert
On Wedneday evening the Sprout Concert for emerging local talent was held at the New Theatre Royal. The main poet of the evening was the legendary Donald Gardner, the Amsterdam beat poet who kindly came over from Amsterdam to give his eagerly awaited Tongues and Grooves performance, demonstrating to the 'Sprouts' how it is done.
Lynda Berry reports from the Sprout Concert
Sprout Night Concert, New Theatre Royal, Wednesday 21st July 2010
 
On Wedneday evening the Sprout Concert for emerging local talent was held at the New Threatre Royal. The main poet of the evening was the legendary Donald Gardner, the Amsterdam beat poet who kindly came over from Amsterdam to give his eagerly awaited Tongues and Grooves performance, demonstrating to the 'Sprouts' how it is done. 

Maggie Sawkins and Bernard MacDonagh, gave a Irish-folk flavoured performance. Sawkins read her poems on the theme of silence which were interspersed with folk and original tunes from MacDonagh on the button accordion. This was the same performance given as the warm up for Caro Ann Duffy at the Chichester Creative Writing Conference this year, and was praised by the poet laureate herself as 'brilliant'. 

Alastair Mansfield, a former naval chaplin, gave an amusing reading before the first 'Sprouts' took to the stage for their first readings. The nerves were running high for these first time perfromers, but the 'Sprouts' came through with flying colours. 

The music was a real treat with three great female singers, from the up and coming Krystyna Jankowska, to the more experienced Janet Ayers and Sue Apicella. Jankowska, accompanied by Chris Collier on acoustic guitar,gave heart felt performances of her own work in Polish and English, and covers of Nona Jones and John Lennon's 'Imagine', sending shivers down my heart strings. Janet Ayers, natural voice practitioner, performed with her usual confidence and fabulous comic timing. Ayers was the personality of the event, rivaling Donald Gardner fantastic performance. Sue Apicella performed traditional folk music in the key of 'D'! A running joke that lasted throughout the night ('what key is it in? D!') 

After Saturday's creative writing class with Maggie Sawkins and Wendy French, the 'Sprouts' were ready to launch their poems on a well sized audience. Eleven people took to the stage, sometimes for the very first time, to read their poems polished and honed by the experience of Wendy French and Maggie Sawkins. Donald Gardener, commented on how impressed he was with the quality of the poetry performed by the 'Sprouts', though wondered with typical humour, whether the 'Sprouts' appreciated their name (himself of course being the 'Amsterdam sprout, a joke that did not make it to the evenings performance). 

Gardener's performance of 'Train Drain' was executed with great style, inspired , undoubtedly, by the courage and enthusiasm of the 'sprouts'. 

The night was rounded off with a musical finale lead by Janet Ayers singing 'Happy Birthday' for Maggie Sawkins. Another great night for local talent!
Contact Information
Organisation: Tongues and Grooves
Contact Name: Lynda Berry
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