Another great day. Found myself in the Tart House on Holmfield Road at tea time where near neighbour and local MP Jon Ashworth spotted my ArtBeat tee-shirt and commended the festival for taking off and for blending in so well with the Art House week-end. Jon and his young family alongside many others were enjoying the garden and the teas, splendidly hosted by Lesley and Rick. And take a bow Lesley for baking those wonderful cakes until 3 in the morning in response to demand. They were delicious as my waistline will testify.
Back to the art. In the afternoon in the garden of Friends Meeting House children played Suzuki violin while indoors On Cue Arts ran a drama workshop for teenagers that went down very well and included improvised enactments of imagined scenes from The Diary of Adrian Mole.
At the Neve Shalom synagogue they had to put out more chairs to accommodate higher than expected numbers enjoying a selection of Jewish music enhanced by explanations and anecdotes told by synagogue chair Miriam Levine.
Later that evening the synagogue was host to a ukulele workshop for enthusiasts of all ages. Comments were overwhelmingly positive. As one person put it “I’ve never had so much fun whilst making so many mistakes”.
Meanwhile on the Queens Road, upstairs at Babelas was crammed with well over 40 people taking part in an Open Mic poetry evening led by the incomparable Rob Gee. As well as some bravura recitations of some of his own poems, he encouraged and supported local poets – some of whom were Open Mic ‘virgins’ – to read their own work. There was some strong and tender material all of which went down well with an appreciative audience. Thanks to Babelas for playing host and providing an informal and cosy ambience for people to ‘pop their cherries’, as one of the poets so expressively put it.