Last week I headed up to Warragul for Arts Merge..this time at Mango Wood Cafe. New intimate venue and some new (for me) features.

We had some amazing flamenco guitar from the Travelling Kirkbridges, Peter and Hedy. Beautiful!

There was some great original songs from Acoustic Kitchen.

and from Wendy Selling, complete with ukulele.

I have no musical talent and was so much in awe of all of these acts, and in fact did pick up a few tips on how to present from them.

The open stage offered up some great work...

and of course there was Yvette Stubbs and her poetry / performance.

Watching others perform is a great way of learning more. Of picking up ideas. How they deliver their work, how they even stand, how they notice (or not) the audience.

The lead up was great, but dare I say, the main features were amazing.

Amanda Anastasi and Anthony O'Sullivan.

Very different in their voice and style, their delivery and their topics. They held the audience in their poetic one stirred, no one moved for fear of breaking the magic they had created.

Amazing work, evocative and moving, they left us demanding more. 

Not only did they offer up great poems...but I loved the way they performed. Both very different, but each with a certain confidence and assurance that made us want to listen, made us want to be a part of what they offered. 

It was a long (and lonely) drive home from this event. And when you travel with someone, there is that chance to talk about what you had seen and heard. To debrief in a way, to chat about what you think was wonderful and then try to describe why. 

Driving home  - with my audio book about serial killers loud in the car (mostly to keep me awake and alert) bits and pieces of the night's entertainment kept snagging at me. Snippets of lines and phrases...the way people used the 'stage'...comic versus funny...performance and recitation.

Every time you get to attend an event like this, if you pay attention and have an open mind, you will come away with much more than enjoyment of a good night. You come away with ideas and concepts you would not have normally thought about, with ways of performing that you had never thought to try.

One of the many reasons why I love to see poetry / arts performed. There is always so much to learn. 


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