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

Zella Compton – my story for Holmes Fest 2017

Arthur – my story for Holmes Fest 2017

Arthur is a light piece about being married to a writer. In it we meet the long suffering wife of ACD, and hear her thoughts on his passion for words. As we hear, the life of being married to the man who would become one of the most famous writers in the world is not all fun. There are, as in many houses, pants on the floor that men ignore!

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

 

About Zella Compton

Zella Compton is a playwright, columnist, novelist and occasional poet. She is widely published and a Creative Lab Associate Artist with the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth. Having recently completed a musical commission for Hampshire Music Service – Ambition – Zella is currently funded by the Arts Council as Mary Rose Museum’s Playwright in Residence. She teaches creative writing at the NTR and for Authors Abroad (agency).

In 2017, Zella will be writing a piece about the Mary Rose, and has several other writing projects in the pipeline.

Plays: Five Beaches, How to be a Girl, Genghis, The Girl in the Hood, Brotherly Love, The Devil’s Rope (all published by Resources4drama)

Books: The Ten Rules of Skimming (published by Mogzilla)

Portsmouth Fairy Tales (published by Life Is Amazing)

Print: The News, The Times, The Sun, The Herald, Build It, Golfers Guide to Scotland, Your Wedding, Hiya!, Professional Builders Merchant, Professional Builder plus many more titles.

 

Christine Lawrence – my story for Holmes Fest 2017

Christine Lawrence

Dear John – My Story For Holmesfest 2017

The fact that Conan Doyle spent time in Southsea and he created Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson whilst he was living here inspired me to write my story of sinister retribution, called Dear John. I used the twisted mind of a so-called madwoman to weave this dark story – and I have to add, it’s purely from my imagination. Relatives of Doyle should therefore not be disturbed or offended by its dark tone!

About Christine

After completing an MA in Creative Writing, Christine published her first novel, Caught in the Web. She is now about to finish her second novel, Payback which she plans to publish this year. She is passionate about writing, playwriting, acting and directing, runs the wardrobe at Titchfield Festival Theatre. She particularly enjoys performing her own writings and meeting people. She writes at www.southwickwriterwoman.blogspot.co.uk

Christine was one of the authors involved in the Portsmouth Bookfest 20 x 12, has short stories published in Portsmouth Fairy Tales for Grown-ups, and Day of the Dead. She has performed at events including the Victorious Festival, Portsmouth Plugged-in, St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Day of the Dead, I,II and III at the Square Tower and several other locations in Portsmouth, including the Guildhall, The Kings Theatre and the New Theatre Royal. Recently Christine was one of the fourteen writers who took part in the Writing Edward King project at Portsmouth City Museum which received Arts Council Funding. She performed her writing for this project in several venues across the City.

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

Caught in the Web is available on Amazon as a paperback as well as an Ebook on Kindle. It is also stocked in Blackwells, Portsmouth, Waterstones in Portsmouth and Fareham, as well as at The Book Shop Lee-on-the-Solent.

St James’s Lunatic Asylum, where Christine’s story is set.

Christine’s Books

 



 

The Hard Interchange railway, 1870s

William Sutton – What I’ve Written For Holmes Fest 2017

William Sutton
William Sutton, internationally published author and storyteller at Holmes Fest 2017.

What I’ve written for Holmes Fest 2017

The story is called “Lawless and the  Pompey Piglets.” I wrote this brief mystery for Portsmouth Fairy Tales [for Grown-Ups]. It features the hero of my novels, Victorian detective, Sergeant Campbell Lawless (known as Watchman because he was formerly a watchmaker’s apprentice).

In Holmesian vein, he is reluctantly drawn out of London by a plaintive letter from Rana Cawnpoor, a young lady sadly entrapped in the fleshpits of Spice Island, her innocence exploited and her honour besmirched. Can he rescue her and her friends, the Flea and the Ladybird?

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

About William

William Sutton is a novelist, musician and Latin teacher. He has written for The Times, for radio and stage, appeared at festivals from Edinburgh to Eton College, acted in the longest play in the world, and played cricket for Brazil. He writes about language, music and futurology, plays bass for chansonnier Philip Jeays and cricket for Authors CC XI.

He is involved in Portsmouth’s DarkFest, in which he compères Day of the Dead at the Square Tower, and Portsmouth Bookfest, including Valentine’s Day Massacre.

He teaches classics. He has written for radio, stage, The Times, The Author, and magazines around the world. He plays bass in the bands of songwriter Jamie West and chansonnier Philip Jeays. He played cricket for Brazil, and occasionally opens for The Authors Cricket Club.

Historical mystery Lawless and the Flowers of Sin was one of the Mail on Sunday’s Books of 2016. Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square (Titan Books) unearths the stink beneath the cobblestones, while Lawless and the House of Electricity comes out later this year.

“Extravagant and thoroughly enjoyable” Allan Massie, The Scotsman
“An extraordinary novel.” Morning Star

The Hard Interchange railway, 1870s
The Common Hard Dockyard Railway – 1870s

William’s books

More about William

william-sutton.co.uk
twitter.com/WilliamGeorgeQ
facebook.com/WilliamGeorgeQ
pinterest.com/wgq42/lawless-and-the-house-of-electricity
soundcloud.com/william-george-sutton/sets/watchman

Line-up for Portsmouth’s Holmes Fest 2017 Announced

Conan Doyle revisiting the site of his surgery, No 1 Bush Villas, Elm Grove, in 1911 – by then a corset shop! (courtesy of the Conan Doyle Encyclopedia https://www.arthur-conan-doyle.com/)

 

10 brilliantly talented storytellers will be joined by musicians, a projectionist and a duellist on Wednesday 28th June at the Square Tower to celebrate Arthur Conan Doyle’s life in Portsmouth.

The writers who will be regaling us with their stories include internationally published authors of Victorian crime fiction, local authors with a knack for spinning the perfect yarn and song writers, too.

The story tellers are:

  • William George Sutton – creator of the Campbell Lawless series of crime novels
  • Diana Bretherick – doctor of criminology and author of City of Devils and The Devil’s Daughters
  • Tony Noon – experienced storyteller well-known for his appearances at the Square Tower’s Day of the Dead event
  • Justin MacCormack – prolific author across genres, with a wicked sense of humour and a sense of the creepy
  • Christine Lawrence – author of Caught In The Web, with a unique brand of story-telling
  • Alan Morris – joyous performer who loves to dress up in Victorian gear and regale us with something unexpected
  • Zella Compton – playwright, short story writer, News columnist and children’s novelist
  • Charlotte Comley – organiser of Lovedean Writers’ Group and one of the funniest, wryest and most brilliant tale tellers in the south.
  • Amanda Garrie – smooth deliverer of intriguing tales.

Find out more about the musicians and the duellists, soon.

Tickets are selling – snaffle your seats at Holmes Fest now!

 

Arthur Conan Doyle and the vicar of St Jude’s, Southsea

Southsea – St Jude’s Church and Vicarage

In his book A Study In Southsea, Geoffrey Stavert traces Arthur Conan Doyle’s life in the seaside town, partially through Doyle’s fictionalised account of Southsea life in his novel The Stark Munro letters. His real-life surgery at No. 1 Bush Villas, was renamed “Oakley Villas”, while St Jude’s was newly Christened “St. Joseph’s”. Stavert writes:

At “Elmwood”, a pleasantly commodious Thomas Owen house situated just off Elm Grove between Grove Road South and the Woodpath (on part of the site now occupied by Telephone House), with lawns and hedges on three sides, lived the Reverend Charles Russell Tompkins, a curate of St Jude’s Church, Southsea. Not content with a wife and seven daughters to minister to his creature comforts, the Rev. Tompkins also maintained a cook, a housemaid and a nurse. It sounds as if St. Jude’s was a comfortable parish in 1883.

I suspect the Rev. Tompkins was the original of the un-named “High Church Curate of St. Joseph’s” whose encounter with the new tenant of Oakley Villas is described in The Stark Munro Letters. The curate had been one of the first to call after the new doctor had put up his plate, with high hopes of welcoming him to the flock, and had been considerably taken aback when he was firmly told that the doctor had no intention of becoming a regular attender at his church or any other…

Come and celebrate Conan Doyle’s life in Portsmouth at Holmes Fest on 28th June 2017 at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth. Tickets are selling, so book your seat here before it’s too late. https://www.wegottickets.com/event/401304

June 1882: Arthur Conan Doyle Arrives In Portsmouth

Clarence Pier, Southsea, in the 1880s

One fine day towards the end of June 1882, a young man stepped ashore from a coastal steamer at Clarence Pier, at the western end of Southsea Common. He was tall, broad-shouldered, with plump cheeks, a well-developed moustache, and a pair of sharp, bold eyes which hinted that although it was only a month after his twenty third birthday, he had already been a round a bit and could look after himself nicely, thank you. He was dressed in comfortable tweeds, complete with waistcoat and stiff collar and tie, despite the time of year. With him he had all his worldly possessions: a tin box containing his top-hat (every Victorian gentleman with any pretensions to professional respectability had to have a top-hat, and consequently a box to carry it in) and a leather trunk.

It must have been a pretty heavy trunk, because not only did it contain his best suit, spare pair of boots (shoes were not commonly worn by men, being considered effeminate), linen and toilet things and a few essential books, but also a brass plate inscribed with his name and medical degree, and his photographic gear, comprising at least a large wooden box camera, separate lens, and a set of glass photographic plates. Young Doctor Conan Doyle had arrived to seek his fortune as a general practitioner in Portsmouth.

– From “A Study In Southsea”, by Geoffrey Stavert.

Celebrate the life and times of Arthur Conan Doyle in Portsmouth at The Square Tower on Wednesday 28th June 2017. Stories, songs, duelling, poison bottles – and a prize for the Best Dressed Victorian!

Light refreshments, good company and top hats. What more can you want?