Poetry in Exeter: Taking the Mic
Kate: How long has Taking the Mic been running?
Tim: It’s been running a little over three years. It was set up by Liv Torc and I think Matt Harvey was also involved. Morwenna and I took it over in September of last year. We’d been been regular performers before that.
Kate: And can you tell me about the ethos behind the event; what is its aim?
Tim: The aim behind the event is to provide a platform for people to try out performance. There is a strong emphasis on spoken word and poetry, but we have been known to host musicians, storytellers, stand up comedians, and even a ventriloquist! On the whole, it tends to be 60-70% poetry.
One of the things we’ve tried to do is put as many people on as we can each time. We usually have around twenty performers. We always try to have a headliner, or more experienced performer. At our last session it was Liv Torc.
Kate: Do you attract a big audience?
Tim: There are usually about 50-60 audience members.
Kate: That’s very impressive. I’m going to ask a mean question now. Have you discovered any local talent through the event and if so who are your favourites.
Tim: That is a mean question, and I don’t think I’m going to answer it. It constantly astonishes me how much talent there is and how different the performers are. One thing I feel is that the people who are the most nervous, or least willing to put themselves forward, are often the best.
Kate: Does the evening have a regular following?
Tim: We usually have around 3 or 4 new people each month, with half a dozen more regular performers. The University Creative Writing Society bring the group down once a year, and Morwenna and I ran a workshop for them last year.
Kate: This all sounds brilliant! Can you tell our readers where they can find out more about the event?
Kate: And don’t forget that Tim is the person responsible for organising this year’s Exeter Poetry Slam as part of the third annual poetry festival. Tickets for this can be booked through the Bike Shed Theatre’s website.