Last night I went to the cinema to see Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, a black and white movie with a tiny budget which Whedon shot in 12 days at his house with a bunch of his actor friends. If you like Shakespeare comedies, if you like spotting old cast members from Buffy and Firefly, or if you simply want to experience some serious envy at Joss Whedon’s house, this is a movie I would heartily recommend to you.
I do have a point though, poetry fans (As fascinated as I’m sure you are by my thoughts on the week’s movie releases. Next week: Man of Steel– not as good as Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman – DISCUSS). No, my poetry-related point comes from one of the lines from Much Ado that stuck with me as I was walking home yesterday evening in the sunshine. Benedick, attempting to write a sonnet for Beatrice, tries out a bunch of dreadful rhymes and then gives it up, complaining “I was not born under a rhyming planet”.
I’m dreadful at rhyming. My poetry got a whole bunch better when, at the age of ten, I thought I had invented the concept of blank verse. Turns out I hadn’t, of course, but I’ve never been very good at getting my poems to scan and rhyme as I wanted them to. That’s not to say that I don’t love rhyming, though, and it’s with very great pleasure that I’m able to tell you that NLP are shortly to publish a new pamphlet by the fantastic Mr Nic Aubury. If you’ve not come across Nic’s previous pamphlet Small Talk, you really should. Quite apart from the fact that it sold out of four print runs and was named by Sophie Hannah in the Sunday Express as one of her books of the year, it’s just really, really great.
Cold Soup, published by NLP in July, promises more of the same from our favourite part-time pedant and armchair philosopher. In this pamphlet you will witness Adam and Eve contemplating the walk of shame, you will hear about the ire of the 5’8” man, but you will also read something of the simply beauty in every day family life, all delivered to you in verses that rhyme and scan in a way that will make you want to read them out loud to your nearest and dearest.
In other NLP-related news, I’m really excited to tell you about an upcoming show written, performed and co-produced by NLP poet and playwright Alex Gwyther. Our Friends, The Enemy is Alex’s debut solo show combining theatre and spoken word to capture the events surrounding the Christmas truce from the First World War. Using a mixture of diary entries and third person narrative, Alex takes on the persona of James Boyce, a young soldier from Surrey who experiences the truce first-hand and takes the audience on a magical, haunting journey through the events surrounding the first Christmas of World War One.
Alex with be performing Our Friends, The Enemy in Edinburgh from August 2nd – 24th at theSpace UK @ Surgeon’s Hall, before taking it on tour in December. Find out more here.
Cold Soup by Nic Aubury is available for pre-order here, and Alex’s Nasty Little Intro #4 can be found here on the NLP website.