I’ve just got back from Greece. I was there with Ross, Joel and Chris from Aisle16 as guests of the British Council. Yeah, baby, British Council. We were asked to do two performances at the Athen’s Children’s and Young Person’s Bookfair. The BC didn’t directly commission us, but once we knew there would be children as young as 11 in the audience, and that most people would only have English as a second language, we knew that some new material would be in order.
We created an entirely new show. We did this in 2006 when we were asked to play John Betjeman’s centenary celebrations. That show became Aisle16’s Services to Poetry, this new show is The 9 1/2 Commandments of Aisle16. We each did 2 new poems and links and then a silly summing up thing at the end that involved us going through all the Keynote slides again but really fast.
It was one of the most fun things I’ve done with the mighty Aisle. I’m really pleased with the show too. My two poems were Some Loves and The Ballad of Fat Josh, I’ll post them both this week.
In the end we performed mostly to adults but they really seemed to enjoy the show. Then on Saturday night we did a grown-up gig at a very cool bar called Bios, right on the edge of the area of town known as Gizi, which is bit like Athens’ Shoreditch. Bios was a bit warehousey (a bit like The Hoxton Bar & Grill on Hoxton SQuare) and decorated with ancient gaming equipment, like Pong still in the original box, or the Nintendo robot dog. Brit band Selfish Cunt were on after us, but I thought their album was shit (bar the excellent cover of Bobby Brown’s My Perogative) so we went and had lovely Greek meal.
One of the things I liked best about the weekend was all the intersting people we met: Sonia Leong (Manga artist), Kevin Brooks (children’s author), Keith Gray (children’s author), Chris Meade (runs If:Books – The Future of the Book – check out his blog, really interesting stuff), and Michael Harvey (contemporary storyteller). I love spending time with artists from other disciplines, and thoroughly hope we get to something else with The British Council some time soon.