A few months ago I was asked to shoot a local poetry session, at which, I was told, the renowned Canadian poet, Rose Condo would be performing. I’ve always loved poetry so, although I wasn’t familiar with Rose at that point, I was happy to record the event.
When Rose took the floor I was instantly mesmerised. Not only was she charismatic but the performance had a combination of warmth, intimacy and humour, the like of which I hadn’t seen before. As Rose started to slice baguettes, spreading them with butter and hummus, and handing them round to the audience she began performing a poem that had a big impact on me. ‘How to starve an artist’ said everything I believed in. It had a serious message but was performed in an innovative, entertaining way.
At the end I bought a poetry booklet and a badge that simply stated ‘How to Starve an Artist.’
“When you wear that badge,” said Rose, “people will ask what it means. Pass the message on.” And I have.
How To Starve An Artist is a solo spoken word show by award-winning poet Rose Condo. The live show toured to Edinburgh, Huddersfield and Blackpool in 2016, and 2017 dates are planned for Lancaster, York, Durham and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival in Canada. The show features Rose energetically delivering a series of poems as she prepares and serves food to her audience, whilst engaging them in ideas about how to be more creatively nourished.
Rose Condo is a writer, performer and spoken word poet from Canada. Based in West Yorkshire, she has won poetry slams in Manchester, Newcastle, York, Edinburgh and Crewe, and recently competed in Dublin’s Lingo Spoken Word Festival Slam and at the Hammer & Tongue National Slam at the Royal Albert Hall. Rose is regularly invited to perform at gigs and festivals across the UK.
In 2014 Rose wrote her first solo spoken word show, The Geography of Me, with creative support from the Lawrence Batley Theatre and Chol Theatre. She has since toured the show to Edinburgh, London, Winnipeg and the Ilkley Literature Festival Fringe.
Spoken word shows and nights are becoming very popular. Over 60 spoken word shows are produced for the Edinburgh PBH Free Fringe each year and the number is on the rise. The art form is moving on to TV, most recently as part of the Nationwide Building Society adverts and idents on ITV, and short poetry spots on Sky.
How To Starve An Artist is a perfect example of why spoken word is such a sought after form of entertainment and one of the fastest growing art forms in the UK. The PBH Free Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival has seen a 6-fold increase in the number of spoken word shows since 2010 and poetry nights are starting to outnumber comedy nights across the country. We want to capture the energy and emotion of Rose Condo’s performance so that people can experience the thrill of the live show again and again.
The film will be shot across three locations in England and premiered at a special invited screening in Autumn 2017. A crowdfunding campaign has recently been launched to generate the resources needed to complete the project, and contributions have been coming in from across the UK as well as Canada and Australia.
The film will be directed by Colin Davies. Colin was born in Brighton and now lives and works in Blackpool, Lancashire, UK. He is an author, designer, performance poet and film director.
The film will be shot by Manchester based filmmaker, Charles Leek. In 2016 Colin and Charles teamed up to make a short film with Doctor Who actor Colin Baker entitled When I Grow Up. The poem was written and directed by Davies and shot and edited by Leek. This creative team is very excited to work with Rose Condo on How To Starve An Artist, the film.
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