Jackson Davies – my story for Holmes Fest 2018 opening night

Jackson Davies will be performing his poem at Holmes Fest 2018’s Three Cheers For Arthur Conan Doyle on 27th June at The Square Tower.

Life Is Amazing: Hello Jackson, tell us about your piece.

Jackson: The Heinous Threat to the Empire is a narrative spoken word show, as the nefarious Dr. J. Fell describes the eerie case of a gravedigger acquaintance of his to Sherlock Holmes. As the show unfolds, it becomes clear that this case may threaten all of Her Majesty’s Empire.


Get Your Tickets for Holmes Fest 2018’s Three Cheers For Arthur Conan Doyle here.


Life Is Amazing: Why do you love Sherlock Holmes?

Jackson: Ever since I first read A Study in Scarlet when I was in my teens, I’ve devoured all of the Sherlock stories. I find them easy to read even today, even when I struggled with Victorian writing by other authors. There’s something about Watson’s detailing of Sherlock’s methods that seems at once beguiling and impressive, but there’s also a real warmth there. A feeling that these two work so well together and admire each other in such unique ways… that, to me, is the real draw of the stories even when the mystery is resolved. I’m not such a big fan of the BBC series as I think it misses what is really important about the Holmes stories – the heart.

Life Is Amazing: What would you investigate if you could investigate anything at all?

Jackson: That’s a great question. I think Sherlock would be well placed to investigate corruption in modern politics, as I think he’d find it all a bit distasteful. Personally though, if it were me, I’d investigate the Fermi paradox – if there are so many stars and universes around us, and the universe is as old as it is, where is everybody?

Life Is Amazing: If Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes went shopping, what one item would each buy, and why?

Jackson: Probably an ounce of shag tobacco, that I’d like to think they share the same brand. Probably also have the same cocaine dealer. Of course, they probably should have both invested in lifejackets and helmets for the whole Reichenbach thing


Get Your Tickets for Holmes Fest 2018’s Three Cheers For Arthur Conan Doyle here.


 

Christine Lawrence – my story for Holmes Fest 2018 opening night

Christine Lawrence will be performing her piece at Holmes Fest 2018’s Three Cheers For Arthur Conan Doyle on 27th June at The Square Tower.

Life Is Amazing: Hello Christine, tell us about your story and what else you’re doing at Holmes Fest 2018?.

Christine: I’m a writer and performer, I am performing at ‘Three Cheers for Arthur Conan Doyle’, a new piece of writing that I’m calling “Mrs. H”.

I will also be appearing at Moriarty’s Mischief  at Canvas Cafe on Saturday 30 June and am taking the lead with T’Articulation as the compere of Sherlock’s Shout Out at the Hunter Gatherer on Tuesday 3rd July.


Get Your Tickets for Holmes Fest 2018’s Three Cheers For Arthur Conan Doyle here.


Life Is Amazing: Why do you love Sherlock Holmes?

Christine: I love Sherlock Homes because he is perfectly flawed, totally barking mad, and possibly quite hot.

Life Is Amazing: What would you investigate if you could investigate anything at all?

Christine: If I were Sherlock, I would investigate any little mystery that came my way, especially after a few puffs on my pipe.

Life Is Amazing: If Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes went shopping, what one item would each buy, and why?

Christine: I once saw Moriarty and Sherlock together in Charlotte Street Market. Sherlock was purchasing onions and Moriarty a new pair of leather thigh length boots. I couldn’t for the life of me say why.


Get Your Tickets for Holmes Fest 2018’s Three Cheers For Arthur Conan Doyle here.


 

Charlotte Comley – my story for Holmes Fest 2018 opening night

Charlotte Comley will be performing her piece at Holmes Fest 2018’s Three Cheers For Arthur Conan Doyle on 27th June at The Square Tower.

Life Is Amazing: Hello Charlotte, tell us about your story.

Charlotte: My story for Three Cheers for Arthur Conan Doyle is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Doyle’s love of mediums and centres on the often asked question, ‘is anybody there?’


Get Your Tickets for Holmes Fest 2018’s Three Cheers For Arthur Conan Doyle here.


Life Is Amazing: Why do you love Sherlock Holmes?

Charlotte: First of all, you need to know, I named my dog Watson. Holmes is actually my least favourite character in the books. Unlike the portrayal of Nigel Bruce’s Watson in the 1940s movies (with Basil Rathbone) Watson is not an idiot. He is not a bumbler (at least in most cases). He represents an intelligent war hero with a loveable gambling quirk. Even Holmes admits that he is in Watson’s debt. Despite being wounded, Watson is a crack shot with a pistol and is quite capable when Holmes requires the physical assistance of a brave man who has seen combat. I am so envious of Holmes because he has such a good friend and ally. Watson stands for loyalty. My dog Watson, not so much – unless you are carrying a bucket of KFC. That said, despite being a small white terrier he is fierce.

Life Is Amazing: What would you investigate if you could investigate anything at all?

Charlotte: I would investigate who stole my Ghostbusters poster in 1984. I was thirteen, I had two jobs and I did an extra shift on the milk round which involved getting up at four in the morning during a bitter cold December to buy the cinema ticket. And the man who drove the milk float was weird! Weird in a WEIRD way. It was my least favourite job of all time and when you think that I used to put egg mayonnaise on British Rail sandwiches, that is saying something. I was so excited about seeing Ghostbusters. And if I’m honest I still think it was Bill Murray at his best. How Murray got a Golden Globe for Lost in Translation and no awards for Ghostbusters I don’t know. I was thrilled when the cinema gave me that free poster. Thrilled. I was ready to go to Athena for a classy poster frame but I had to work and when I came back from Lenders Food factory on Saturday my poster was gone. Except for some suspicious black and red bits of paper. I suspect I know who took it and destroyed my poster, but I never had any real evidence. Which is probably a good thing that I am unable to solve this crime as my revenge would be as cold as the milk I delivered. Damn I am still annoyed. In fact, I am getting cross just writing about the incident. I would probably ask Mycroft for help. He understood people and Holmes would think the case of a missing Ghostbuster poster beneath him.

Life Is Amazing: If Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes went shopping, what one item would each buy, and why?

Charlotte: I’m not sure, but I would advise them to get life jackets and sturdy walking boots if they were going to fight near the Reichenbach Falls.

Thrills and Spills at The Snow Witch Launch

There were more thrills and spills than planned for at the launch for Matt Wingett’s The Snow Witch on the night of Saturday 28th October at Blackwell’s bookshop, Portsmouth as part of the Portsmouth Darkest season.

Thrills came in the form of Eilis Philips’ singing and guitar playing. Her extraordinary clear and powerful voice cast a spell on the audience that set the tone for an evening dedicated to Wingett’s magic realist story that is set in Portsmouth. Eilis’s first song of the night, also called The Snow Witch, was directly inspired by Matt’s novel, with a haunting melody backed with icy chords on the guitar that caught the mood of the novel brilliantly.

Two readings from the novel were given by Matt, and Eilis treated the audience to another song before a break for book signing.

Spills came when Dr Karl Bell, Darkfest organiser and co-host of the evening, slipped from the stage on his chair, sending him in a slow motion backward somersault to the gasps of the audience. Dr Bell recovered his poise with humour and grace, and, like a trouper, the show went on.

Despite the impromptu acrobatics, the Q and A session was lively, covering questions as varied as the use of myth in storytelling, symbolism in the novel and why Portsmouth is a fascinating place for telling tales. With ironic humour, Matt and an audience member penned a new slogan for the city: “Portsmouth, not as sh*t as you think,” which raised a laugh all round.

Bookshop manager Jo West was on hand to help the evening go with ease, where many people bought multiple copies of the book, while others who had received preview copies described how compelling the story is.

The evening was also enriched on this Hallowe’en weekend by audience members arriving in wonderful outfits that reflected the Darkfest theme.

A great evening, and thanks to all concerned.

The Snow Witch is available in paperback and hardback from Blackwell’s Bookshop, and from the shop on this website.

No doctors were harmed in the launching of this book.

Amanda Garrie – my story for Holmes Fest 2017

Amanda Garrie

 

The Reunion – my story for Holmes Fest 2017

The Reunion

My story is a blend of fact and fiction, based on incidents that occurred within my own family. After meeting a helpful Conan Doyle, Bertie writes a letter detailing how he’s put newly acquired skills to good use. But what will the recipient make of it? There’s only one way to find out.

About Amanda Garrie

Reality is a foggy island to this author, having grown up in a place where the elderly still whispered of witches and skeletons lay on the road for weeks after a road widening scheme. It all makes for interesting writing, though, that promises something a little unexpected.

Amanda gained an MA, with Distinction, in Creative Writing in 2015 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the same discipline. Her MA novel, ‘Fluvial’, currently awaits placement, and ‘The Eldritch Girls’, being written as part of the Ph.D., is in its first draft and due for completion in 2019.

Get your tickets for Holmes Fest 2017 here

Wednesday 28th June, 6.30pm, The Square Tower, Portsmouth

Price: £7.50

Details of previously published work can be found on her blog page: https://shardsfromalongcrackedmirror.com/about/

Recently placed writing has seen her widen her repertoire:

  • The Rheum, an Elizabethan script written as part of the Much Ado about Shakespeare, festival (2016) was published in pamphlet form for Wymering Manor, where it is set. Extracts from the text also being printed on mirrors, as part of an art installation at the manor.
  • A monologue, Something Fishy and a prose poem, No Reason, nor no Rhyme – in artist Jon Everitt’s fabulous book, Octomorphosis (2016);
  • a poem, Counting Games, in the Edward King folder – Portsmouth City Museum (2016);
  • two poems, Beyond and Looking Back, in the Arts Council funded Ferry Tales anthology (2017) and on their website.
  • A further Ferry Tales’ poem The Wight-Link Whale was performed at the launch of the anthology, at The Square Tower, in May this year. She has also appeared as a guest author on Talk Solent TV, discussing news stories of local interest (2016).
The Gosport Steampunk Society and Holmes Fest

Stuart Markham – The Gosport Steampunk Society at Holmes Fest 2017

Gosport Steampunk Society

Stuart Markham Talks About The Gosport Steampunk Society and Holmes Fest

The Victorians were a strange bunch. Alongside inequality, grinding poverty and imperialism, they also gave us extraordinary visionaries like Wells, Verne, Rider Haggard, and countless others, not the least of whom was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

So, when I heard that Holmes Fest would celebrate the life and times of Conan Doyle in Portsmouth, I knew straight away that the Gosport Steampunk Society must be involved! That’s why we’ll be demonstrating feats of marksmanship on stage, among the storytelling and the music, as well as inviting you to a duel…

But fear not! Our deadly weapons are nerf guns (and yes, I do know the Victorians didn’t invent soft polystyrene bullets!).

Tickets for Holmes Fest 2017 available here

Wednesday 28th June, 6.30pm, The Square Tower, Portsmouth

Price: £7.50

One of the things I love about the Victorians is the way they imagined the future. For them, it was a glorious Victorian future full of steam and brass and clanking machines and space travel and lost worlds and handfuls of scarlet-clad soldiers fighting Martian invaders, led by mutton-chopped heroes with pith helmets and clockwork rifles! (Heroes not unlike myself, I may add.)

The Gosport Steampunk Society, along with other Groups, seek to celebrate this retro-futurism at regular meetings (called Convivials) and events and gatherings all round the country – indeed, the world.

We socialise, we espouse politeness and a Victorian bearing, we costume (the Steampunk motto is Be Splendid), and we craft. We hold mock duels and shooting challenges, we attend concerts and saucy burlesque evenings, but above all we have fun, in a Victorian science-fiction setting.

In short we use our skills and imagination to participate in the future the Victorians never got to have.

So, we’re at Holmes Fest to add our own special ingredient to the mix. It’s going to be fun – and don’t forget to challenge one of us to a duel. Our nerf guns are primed!

The GSS meets every first Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm, at the newly refurbished Fighting Cocks pub in Alverstoke, a short walk from the Gosport Ferry, and you will find us a most welcoming bunch of enthusiasts.

The Gosport Steampunk Society and Holmes Fest

James Waterfield's Poison Bottles

James Waterfield: Poison Bottles for Holmes Fest 2017

James WaterfieldHOLMES FEST 2017 – JAMES WATERFIELD MAKE POISON BOTTLES AVAILABLE

With a macabre and slightly gothic twist, Poison Bottles will be available on the night of Holmes Fest, on 28th June.

The idea of Portsmouth artist James Waterfield, these customised bottles of “poison” have unique labels designed and donated by artists illustrating their favourite poison. Who knows what Poisons the artists might dream up? “The Crocodile Tears of Theresa May”, perhaps?

James is sticking each label to one of his customised bottles, filling them with a brightly coloured bubble bath and selling them to raise money for the Macmillan Cancer trust. They look great, have a lovely Gothic feel and add a definite Victorian ambience to the room. They’ll make a great keepsake and, since they’re filled with bubble bath, are useful. And once the bubble bath is gone, if you want to use them to keep your own “poison” – a good whisky, perhaps – then they look great in the drinks cabinet.

Tickets for Holmes Fest 2017 available here

Wednesday 28th June, 6.30pm, The Square Tower, Portsmouth

Price: £7.50

Who knows, perhaps you will need to keep them as evidence if Sherlock Holmes comes knocking to investigate a nefarious crime or two!

Meet the Musicians at Holmes Fest 2017 – Hudson and Lestrade

Janet Ayers and Matt Parsons
Janet Ayers and Matt Parsons

About Hudson and Lestrade

Hudson and Lestrade AKA Janet Ayers & Matthew Parsons perform under many subtly crafted disguises. As Les Kazoos D’amour they have performed over the years at Tongues & Grooves, Lymington Library, Teapoet Collective, Open Word and the Front Room, plus guesting for book launches and community events in Portsmouth.

Matthew Parsons is an Artist http://mattparsons.org/ , Musician and Writer (Dark Cities 2016)
Janet Ayers is a community artist https://www.facebook.com/Southsea-Community-Choir-204761259929574/ Illustrator, Celebrant and Performer.

Get your tickets for Holmes Fest 2017 here
Wednesday 28th June, 6.30pm, The Square Tower, Portsmouth
Price: £7.50

 

Q: “What do you love about Victorian music hall songs?”

The songs are a window into a world that we no longer inhabit. Finding the true meaning of the slang words puts the songs in context and you find they do mock the upper classes, with all the various performers taking on different identities: women dressing as young men, posh ladies affecting a common accent, men dressing as tramps… Above all, we’ve picked the best tunes and melodies and catchy choruses for the audience to join in with.

“What’s the worst thing about them?”

Some of them go on for ever and ever and ever… and lots of stereotyping and sentimentality. Also, not all of them would have been recorded or notated so some are lost forever! Perhaps they were the better songs?!

“If you could be any Victorian, who would you be?”

Matt: Queen Victoria
Janet: Prince Albert

Community choir singing for all over the summer:

If anyone would like to sing over the summer, then please join Sing for Water Portsmouth from Tuesday 18th July for 8 weeks! More info from Janet on contact@janetayers.org or this link only £45 for 8 weeks includes song sheet and audio cd. Raise money and awareness for Water Aid. Performance on Sunday 10th September 2pm outdoors in Old Portsmouth!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1632043353687486/

Les Kazoos

A J Noon – my story for Holmes Fest 2017

A J Noon

The Case of the Shyster Watson – My Story For Holmesfest 2017

 

‘My story for Holmes Fest 2017 is set later in their careers and was inspired when reading through Arthur Conan Doyle’s original ideas for the stories. There is a name in there I hope the Sherlock fans will recognise, a name that ties the piece together. Trying to write a very short detective piece has proved interesting and hopefully I have managed to pull together enough for the audience to both recognise the characters and to tell an interesting story.’

About A J Noon

AJ Noon was and born bred in Portsmouth, and, after an extended absence, returned home three years ago. The history of the area has a firm grip on his interests and when not writing and performing in the area he can be found skulking on the decks of HMS Victory. He writes short stories and is putting the finishing touches to his first novel in conjunction with studying his MA at Portsmouth University.

Tickets for Holmes Fest 2017 available here
Wednesday 28th June, 6.30pm, The Square Tower, Portsmouth
Price: £7.50

Charlotte Comley – my story for Holmes Fest 2017

Charlotte Comley

Any Housekeeper Worth Her Salt – My Story For Holmesfest 2017

Any housekeeper worth her salt knows it is not the number of staff in the household you are in charge of but the quality of the gentleman you serve. My story is a downstairs view of why we should sit back and trust our betters to look after us. Even if we don’t understand there decisions, surely the fact that they have been educated in the right school means that they are always right! Doesn’t it?

About Charlotte

Charlotte Comley is a creative writing group organiser and self employed writer of educational resources. To the outside world she devotes her time to helping with homework, and trying to earn a crust. But in those brief moments of alone time she writes and dreams of seeing her work on a book shop fiction shelf.  Her fiction has been published by Ether Books, Darwin Evolutions, Flash Flood, Chuffed Books, and 1000 words.  Nonfiction work has appeared in  magazines such as The Green Parent, Take a Break, Woman’s Weekly, The Motion Online and Grow It.

Charlotte Comley was one of the writers and script editors of Express FM’s Conway Street, a radio soap airing three times a week for eighteen months. She has also managed to win the odd writing award and came highly commended at The Winchester’s Writing Conference competition for children’s fiction. She regularly blogs at  http://www.charlottecomley.com/ . In 2012 she read at The Umbrella Festival at The Groundlings Theatre, came third place at Alton’s Book Festival The Pint Pot of Fire, at Wordsouth Havant and in the Portsmouth Book Fest 20 x 12. She was short listed for the You, Me and Everyone project in Portsmouth. She has won various poetry prizes at poetry Cafes.

Tickets for Holmes Fest 2017 available here
Wednesday 28th June, 6.30pm, The Square Tower, Portsmouth
Price: £7.50

 

Charlotte’s Latest Book

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