Cirque du ArtSwarm: Joy by Mark Sheeky

Cirque du ArtSwarm: Joy
Wistaston Memorial Hall, Wistaston
27 April 2019

About this event
The second of a series of experimental art performance, music and poetry nights at Wistaston Memorial Hall, organised by myself and Deborah Edgeley. The theme of the evening was Joy. The special guest of the night was singer, songwriter, producer and performance artist Mick Masser.

I began the night with a fun piano performance of the joyous Rat Rock, then Steven Goodwin performed some new poems in a new style. Deborah Edgeley then performed a few poems about different aspects of her garden to a slideshow. Poet Carol Forrester read a few poems, followed by Ian Parr who returned in the second half to sing and read. Stephen Pennell, Sheila Blackburn then performed some of their poems in the first open mic section.

Deborah Edgeley and I then performed The Harp of Happiness, a new variation of The Harp of History, an interactive performance event where members of the audience grip strings for form a sort of human harp, singing notes as their string is plucked. I played these notes, in pentatonic scale, on the keyboard.

After the break, guest Mick Masser performed a 20 minute set of music with projected video about connections between man and nature and the unifying effect of music. Claire Bassi then read a few words about what brings her joy, and handed out small pieces of paper which listed unusual joyful activities.

I then, as Dr. Brad Vinegar, became host of 'Joy Division' - a mock television game show where the audience, divided in half, had to answer questions about Joy. Nicholas Ferenczy read and sang work from him poetry collection, and Helen Kay and Nigella Clawson performed some poems, including an homage to Joy France. Moragh Carter and Angi Holden also performed their poetry, and the evening concluded with a Ken Dodd tribute: Ode to Happiness.

Photo by Angi Holden.