Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Effort presents : SHOEBOX

THE EFFORT brings you a devised performance based around a shoebox full of poetry and prose by Norwich poet and performer Andy Spragg: SHOEBOX

SHOEBOX explores themes in the original shoebox texts (urban routines, boring jobs and the architecture of cities) as well as bringing in the work of performers, artists and musicians around the theme of shoeboxes.

Everyone has a shoebox - at the bottom of a cupboard, under clothes you should throw away, filled with letters from friends you no longer speak to, bursting with bank statements you couldn't bring yourself to open, containing photographs that weren't quite worth putting in an album.

We will be performing on the following dates:

February 24th to 27th (Wed. to Sat.)
March 3rd to 6th (Wed. to Sat.)
at 9PM

Tickets can be obtained through the White Bear box office at
020 7793 9193
£10/£8 concessions
The nearest tube stop is Kennington (Northern Line).

For £15, you can enjoy both the double-bill CLAM & HONEY/BABY (19:30 start) and SHOEBOX (21:00 start).


Zenia Bond
Claire Chard
Emma Davis
Farah Merani
Keri Penford-Baker
Tara Postma
Victoria Scott

WRITING: Andy Spragg

MUSIC: Sim Eldem

DIRECTOR: Vanessa Pope

COLLABORATORS: Antonia Grant, Gareth Risdale, Ceridwen Smith, Jessica Spalis



THE EFFORT is a London-based D.I.Y arts initiative. Pooling the talents of performers, artists, musicians and writers, THE EFFORT produces collaborative art, performance and writing. We aim to make the most of under-used spaces to create works that engage directly with audiences. In addition to producing the works of associated artists, we research, review and reach out to new performers.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

In keeping with...

Sonnet 1#

A spill, of late - in a dream we abide
some heart, a dredged lone wreck - ringing
in gloomed grey water - a near singing
resonance, a long haul hymn to the tide.

In each churn kept some neat reason to hide
broad tone songs with such lust, such low blessing -
murmured prayer, a principle changing,
tailored need to find brief things to confide.

What murmur, it is a tongue soon stilled,
set and so saved, repenting all but a name -
conversion made in brash storm-churned sea.

Forgive an angered word, the throat trilled
a note of love, a long hush all the same,
forgive a spill of late, a desire to be free.

Sonnet 2

Setting off so, I feel a crisp absence -
a wish to see you again manifests.
Frost plundered boots wet with long tread.
Chilled press of damp flesh confirms it,
our day together spent in a shiver.

In passing I took it to heart, this part
of a walk, an embrace given to mute
satisfaction, no pondering drive, a reason
to embrace. I guess you have to forgive
me, I broke the silence with this faint thought

In the end you will not want me, I guess
I am certain of that. I am breaking
a silence to save the chatter of teeth.
I am not given to frantic displays.

Sonnet 3

Of the/two of/ us you/are immor/tal
and free/ una/fraid to/ break the/ line or/
even/ fall ov/er it/I am/ghastly with/
envy/a green/hue a fat/trick of/your speech/
I had /a dream/ where you/came back/ and told/
me that/ we were fun/dament/ally free/ of one/
anoth/er I/ guess you/ owed me/that too/
though in/ fact I/ don’t feel/ that way/
you did/nt owe/me any/thing you/ are the/
one who/is im/mortal/and free/and I/
am aw/are you/ are the/ reason/ I find/ it so
easy/ to fall/ in love/ or at/least you/
had some/part in/it I/ wish on/ly the/
best for/you I/am learn/ing to/be free.

I set myself the task of writing a few sonnets recently - just as a technical exercise to get myself back into writing in a more structured manner. As you can see I've not had a tremendous success with retaining the sonnet's rigidity of form - but the process was fun and I've got some new poems out so it. I think also that there is something more personal in these pieces, perhaps because my brain wasn't engaged with finding overly-complex metaphors for everything.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

A reminder to yo'self

Cheerfully filling in a personal statement for an MA application at the moment, it's dawned on me that I've done an awful lot recently. This is no bad thing at all, and long may it continue. Sometimes it's easy to get sidetracked and forget that the direction things are going is largely a good one. Okay - it's not an epiphany as such as a slight realisation, but here's a poem to cheer you along for the time being:


your coy shivered erection
breaks the surface of
the frozen water

your shy shameful shaft
flourishes in the frigid

a sub-zero lady of the lake
lay-man’s hand grasping

clumsy and repulsive
floundering for breath
a pervert caught in the

process of the plunge

course when it comes to it
there will be talk of
symbolic exchange

what such a dip
why the focus

on your throbbing distended
(seemingly detached) member?
why the feminine and frozen

aligned in close monstrous function?
Why do you give a damn?
you didn’t even

see it happen.