The core of the 2015 Live from Worktown Festival took place in the week commencing 18th of May and was headlined by internationally acclaimed founder member of the Mersey Poets, Brian Patten, Mandy Coe and the ever popular John Hegley.
Brian Patten came to prominence, along with Roger McGough and Adrian Henri, in the 1967 best- selling Mersey Sound poetry anthology, which has been credited as the most significant anthology of the twentieth century, and is now a Penguin Modern Classic. Since then he has performed at the world’s leading literary festivals and has published several award winning collections. He also writes for children and is a 'highly engaging performer.'
Click here for Scott Devon's interview with Brian Patten.
Prize-winning poet and author of six books, Mandy Coe has been featured on BBC radio and television (Woman's
Hour, Poetry Please and CBeebies) as well as the Radio Times and the Guardian. Based in the
North West of England, Mandy writes poetry for adults and children and has been
commissioned to write poems and educational material for various prestigious organisations.
She reads at poetry and literature events throughout the UK and her work as an educationalist
has been featured in the TES.
John Hegley is not only a poet but also a comedian, musician and songwriter whose first public performance monies came from busking his songs, initially outside a shoe shop in Hull. Now a favourite on the radio and music festival scene he first came to prominence on John Peel's radio show. Hegley's poem 'Malcolm' is one of the nation's most popular comic poems. An Edinburgh festival regular, mandolin-playing Hegley delights in audience participation.
The Live from Worktown Festival 2015 also featured a commemorative production of Dave Morgan's play: 'Hovis in Wonderland', to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of the great Bolton wordsmith and humourist, Hovis Presley. The play was written in 2007 and following an extremely successful début at the Royal Exchange it toured extensively throughout the Northwest and at several festivals including Latitude.
Hovis's collection of poetry 'Poetic off Licence', has also been republished and is now available from Flapjack Press - click here for more information of how to buy a copy..
There was a George's festival special which started with a fun play from the Octagon's Headspace group followed by a special guest appearance from Jackie Hagan. Jackie was then on tour with her celebrated one-woman play 'Some people have too many legs' but took a night off to share her wonderful poetry. She had also beeny featured on Radio 4 and BBC One's the One show.
Young wordsmiths were featured when Bolton’s Insyt Media went head to head with Manchester’s Young Identity in showcases that featured poetry, rap, hip hop, dub and soul.
Insyt Media is a youth and community arts project, led by Robbie Stevenson, which teaches writing and performance and which trains young people in music production, DJ skills and fashion design.
Manchester based 'Young Identity' is a twenty-six strong group of young writers led by Shirley May and Ali Gadema. Formed in Moss Side, Manchester, in 2006, the creative project includes poetry, script writing and performances.