This month Bristol Old Vic presents Blah’s Big Weekend, a packed three-day festival from 17-19 March celebrating the best in spoken word and poetry

Bristol Old Vic, Tangent Books and Anna Freeman have joined forced to present the very best in spoken word, slam poetry, performances and workshops from the biggest names in the business for Blah’s Big Weekend.

Featuring the biggest headliners of poetry and spoken wordery including the likes of Vanessa Kisuule, Tongue Fu and Roundhouse Collective’s Cecilia Knapp and Bohdan Piasecki, there’s more than enough to keep wagging ears happy – here’s our pick of the bunch…


Tongue Fu

17 Mar, 8pm, £8-£10

A stellar lineup of the most brilliant poets around kicks off Blah’s Big Weekend with Tongue Fu, one of London’s liveliest and best attended spoken word nights. A wild, playful, poetry party, where no one knows quite what will happen until it happens, Tongue Fu is a riotous experiment in poetry and improvisation, with backing from the brilliant Tongue Fu band.

Tongue Fu will be joined by Rhian Edwards, Caleb Femi, Toby Thompson and Malaika Kegode, and hosted by Chris Redmond.

Blah's Big Weekend


Finding Home – Cecilia Knapp

18 Mar, 2pm, £7

Through humour and moving storytelling Roundhouse Collective’s Cecilia Knapp shines a light on how we deal with loss, how we talk about mental health, and what it’s like to grow up amongst these things. Meet the characters that have influenced her, listen to her old cassettes, hear her story and discover how she found home amongst chaos.
 Directed by Stef O’Driscoll and with music from world champ beatboxer Bellatrix and Tongue Fu founder Chris Redmond, this is one evocative spoken word collaboration not to miss.

If you fancy penning your own poem, there’s also a writing workshop with Cecilia and Bohdan Piasecki taking place at 12pm on the 18 March.

Blah's Big Weekend


Vanessa Kisuule

18 Mar, 3pm, entrance is free

With her old-school typewriter at hand, multiple-slam winning performance poet Vanessa Kisuule will be creating tailor-made poems for punters on a subject of their choice, totally free of charge. Sit back and relax as she pens a personalised poem while having a natter about anything that comes to mind; poetry, the world, or even how she finds such brilliant stuff to stick in her hair.

Blah's Big Weekend


Stand up and Slam

18 Mar, 8pm, £8-£10

Edinburgh Fringe veterans Stand up and Slam will see six phenomenal acts going head to head, as poetry and comedy collide with unexpected and hilarious results. The resident team captains will be joined by the most exciting comedy and poetry acts from around the UK, mashing up the two art forms in an epic battle of spoken word. Who wins? It’s up to the audience to decide…

Blah's Big Weekend


The Sleep Show – Rob Auton

19 Mar, 8pm, £7-£8

Award-winning writer and performer Rob Auton presents a comedy/theatre/talking show all about stacking Zzs. Following past hits The Yellow ShowThe Sky ShowThe Face Show and The Water Show, Rob now turns his attention to sweet dreams with this latest theatrical production,  suitable for anybody who has slept or seen someone sleeping.

Blah's Big Weekend

All performances take place at The Wardrobe Theatre unless otherwise stated. For more information or to book tickets visit bristololdvic.org.uk