Head to the mouth of the Mersey for a very special special of A Lovely Word, as Liverpool’s most eclectic spoken word night teams up with Homotopia Festival 2020, taking place 29 October to 15 November. Also based in Liverpool, the UK’s leading and longest-running LGBTQIA arts and culture festival this year takes “show your working” as its theme – in other words, you may not have the answer, but you are making a plan for how to get there.
A Lovely Word welcomes Jade Anouka into the headliner limelight… As an actor on both stage and screen, it’s something Jade should be well versed at – she also uses those talents to write her own plays, poetry and prose.
The collective behind A Lovely Word definitely have a plan. The Everyman’s long-standing live literature night has already been online, in May, June and July, it’s been in the park, during the halcyon days of August and September, and it’s been back online since the start of October, when Polari-shortlisted poet Dean Atta helped mark Black History Month. For November, A Lovely Word welcomes Jade Anouka into the headliner limelight.
As an actor on both stage and screen, it’s something Jade should be well versed at – she also uses those talents to write her own plays, poetry and prose, including an essay – Hotspur, Superwoman – in the Virago anthology I Call Myself A Feminist: The View from Twenty-Five Women Under Thirty, published in 2015, and the TED Talk Being Black, Being a Woman, Being ‘Other’, which she performed in 2018.
On the acting front, London-born Jade’s TV credits include Doctor Who, His Dark Materials and Channel 4’s Chewing Gum, while her most recent work is Her & Her, commissioned as part of the BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine series. She has been commended in the Ian Charleson Awards, rewarding the best classical stage performances in Britain by actors under the age of 30, for her performance as Ophelia in Hamlet at Shakespeare’s Globe and for her take on Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar at The Donmar Warehouse – part of an all-female Shakespeare trilogy, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, in which Jade also played The Tempest‘s Ariel and Hotspur in Henry IV.
Jade published her first collection of poems in the form of the 32-page pamphlet Eggs on Toast in 2017, with Poetry Space. Fellow poet and author Laura Dockrill says: “Jade’s beautiful poetry is no frills. Brave, raw and exposing, Jade’s writing is an open book where the words are carefully plucked pearls, fit for the neck of any human just growing, falling and making their way in the world.”
A Lovely Word @ Homotopia will be livestreamed on Facebook and Youtube (search for A Lovely Word). Online open mic slots of four minutes maximum are available and performers should sign up in advance between now and midday on 6 November – get in touch by emailing email@example.com and note that for this Homotopia special, poets identifying as LGBTQIA will be prioritised. “Show your love and appreciation for all other poets,” say the ALW team, no hateful language is tolerated. If you fancy building your skills in performing poetry before then, A Lovely Word’s Alex will be running a free scratch session exclusively for LGBTQIA folks, giving you a chance to workshop your poem and explore your voice as a performer. The workshop takes place via Zoom on Saturday 31 October, 12-2pm – there are just 10 places available, so get in touch ASAP to reserve your place via firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Lovely Word is completely free, supported by the Everyman & Playhouse and Arts Council England.