It’s a happy place to be, sat around a table, chewing the metaphorical fat with a playwright, archivist, teacher, classical pianist, and professional storyteller. I know, because that’s where I spent my lunchtime.
Since the beginning of the year, Greenwich Theatre’s foyer has been home to Health Tips for the Year Ahead, a poetry installation to hearten and inspire, to buck-up and encourage, to… You get it, right? Gathered in apothecary bottles, pinned to the walls, stored in filing-cabinets were poems of health-advice spanning the centuries. Cures for grief, heartache, backache, ‘Love – Miscellaneous’, even deflowering, could be found amongst this joyful collection, curated by Helen Eastman, artistic director of Live Canon. Today (Saturday) was the last chance to catch this unusual and playful interactive poetry installation, which is receiving interest from theatres around the country, all keen to welcome such imaginative use of an often dead-space-for-loitering pre- and (not if anyone can possibly help it) post-show.
To celebrate the success of this new venture (Live Canon ordinarily perform one-off – two if you’re lucky – shows of learnt-by-heart poetry and occasional song), a pop-up lunch was organized. With food by local up-and-coming chef, Joe Grollman (the jeweled couscous was superb), supporters and newcomers celebrated an extraordinary six weeks of workshops, performances, and the creation of new work – with hundreds of poems being added to the installation by the public, there to rest among work bequeathed to the event by luminary poets such as Glyn Maxwell, N.J. Hynes, and R.S. Thomas.