It might not have been quite the standard of the NADS (Newlyn Artists Dramatic Society) but the team of Friends from the Newlyn Archive who entertained an audience of 24 people at the Acorn Theatre from 3.00-4.00 pm on Wednesday July 17 2013 as part of the Penzance Literary Festival got as much enjoyment from the event as did the audience.
It was Ron Hogg’s first public performance. ‘I have never taken part in a public poetry reading before, standing on a stage, with the spotlight on me and seven other readers. Each of us taking turns to read our various poems, the audience hidden in the outer darkness. One of my poems was by a fishing boat skipper, who told the story of his fishing boat being sunk, his descent into despair and heavy drinking, followed by his re-emergence and triumph of going to sea again and returning with a record catch. Uniquely, our readings were accompanied by pictures from the Archive arranged to illustrate the poems being read. At the finish we were given enthusiastic feedback by members of the audience, including an invitation to perform to a local history group being formed on the Lizard, so “as to show them what can be done”.
Andrew Gordon has performed before but he found reading the works of a renowned local poet in his presence was not easy and was reassured to receive his approval after the performance. ‘It was a pleasure to present a celebration of Newlyn’s past to such an appreciative audience’, says Andrew. ‘The combination of nostalgic and comic verse created by local poets, and the wonderful Newlyn dialect of some of the team of readers (David and Diane Tredinnick, Goff Johns and Liz Harman) created a magic atmosphere, which was enhanced by the pictures that were projected. It was particularly pleasing to hear some of our members unfamiliar with the joys and pressures of performing under the glare of stage lighting (Jean and Tom Lodge, and Ron Hogg) reading poems with such care and clarity. Readers and listeners enjoyed the afternoon and that is the only measure of success which really matters’.