Kate Foley & Cherry Potts reading at Gay’s the Word – Video


Arachne Press

We had a great evening at Gay’s the Word – thank you to Uli & Jim – and despite Kate’s determination to walk out of shot, we have some video – where it got silly, with just a sleeve on show, there’s audio instead.

Here’s Cherry reading a bit about family from The Dowry Blade, chosen specially to link with Kate’s themes, and not read elsewhere.

and audio of the other section read

Here’s Kate reading a varied selection of poems from The Don’t Touch Garden

Blue Glass, Empty Pram:

Oral History:

My Father Counting Sheep:

The Elephant Aunts:

and here, reading an abridged version of the long title poem.

continued off camera…

View original post

Lewisham Library LGBT Lesbian takeover


We had a great night at Lewisham Library on Thursday. A substantial crowd, a relaxed atmosphere and some great writers. The first of  many events for LGBT History Month, it was a diverse and entertaining evening.

V.A Fearon read from her novel The Girl With the Treasure Chest, about gang negotiator Dani, and her first meeting with lover Marie;

Kate Foley read us some varied poems from several collections covering everything from bedroom tax to first smoochy dance at the Gateways*

Cherry Potts stuck up for Helen of Troy in her story Behind the Mask, from Mosaic of Air

and V.G. Lee‘s heroine struggled to be a proper card-carrying lesbian in the teeth of straight friend Deirdre’s best attempts to scupper her.

*Anyone under the age of thirty may be mystified by the Gateways. If you want to know more, come along to The Story Sessions on 19th February and listen to Clare Summerskill.

Lewisham Library taken over by Lesbians…


Here are some photos from Thursday’s LGBT History Month event at Lewisham Library, featuring me, Kate Foley, V.A. Fearon and V.G. Lee.

V G Lee copyright Cherry Potts 2014

V G Lee copyright Cherry Potts 2014

V G Lee copyright Cherry Potts

V G Lee copyright Cherry Potts

I really wanted to photograph the lovely audience too, but had too many other things on my mind. But imagine a library stuffed full of women, plus a couple of men, and a baby.

Kate Foley copyright Cherry Potts 2014

Kate Foley copyright Cherry Potts 2014

Kate Foley copyright Cherry Potts 2014

Kate Foley copyright Cherry Potts 2014

I was really, really pleased with the atmosphere and my fellow readers did us proud – video will go up as soon as I’ve edited it.

V A Fearon Copyright Cherry Potts 2014

V A Fearon Copyright Cherry Potts 2014

LGBT History event Lewisham Library TONIGHT


Thrilled to be doing so many readings for LGBT History month – you must have noticed I’m keen on history?

The first one is tonight, at Lewisham Library 199-201 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6LG 7.45 for 8.

Kate Foley (Poet) has arrived from the Netherlands and is even now upstairs practising, after an entertaining evening yesterday discussing what she was going to read and what qualified as ‘Lesbian Poetry’.

V.G. Lee and V.A. Fearon are joining us for a wide range of stories, covering london gangs, (VA) reworked myth (me), and who knows what VG has planned, but it’ll be funny. Come and join us, it’s free, and there are plenty of tickets left (I don’t think tickets are essential, just so that the library know how many chairs to put out.)

LGBT History Month is coming up: part 1


New cover for Arachne Press version of mosaic - image copyright Melina Traub

Mosaic of Air – image copyright Melina Traub

You may have realised from the last couple of posts, that I’m a bit of a history gal.  So of course I am taking part in a few events over February.

First out of the traps:

Lewisham Library 199-201 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6LG (see the videos)

6th February 7.45  for 8, until 9.30

free, but ticketed. 40 tickets available so probably wise to book.

Lewisham 6-2-14 posterI will be reading from Mosaic of Air (It’s twenty years since it was first published, it qualifies as history – actually that’s a bit alarming – there are quite a few historical stories in it, and what are now period pieces but were contemporary at the time! ).

I will be joined by poet Kate Foley,

Kate Foley  VG Lee-2

humorist  V.G. Lee and debut novelist V.A. Fearon.

V A Fearongirl with treasure chest

one window north - foley

(Incidentally, should you be keen enough to want to come to all the events I’m involved in over February, I shall be making an As You Step Outside front interimeffort to read something different each time, and the focus will vary too.)

Eugene Onegin – 1st Night Tuesday 12th July 2011


The hours running up to first night can be quite nerve racking, but this year it coincides with my 50th Birthday, so I have plenty of distractions.  Our dear friends Tonnie and Kate (Foley) are over from Amsterdam. K & T are big fans of Blackheath Halls Community Opera, and came over for Orpheus & Eurydice as well.
Why do you need to know all this? Well, Kate is wearing a rather fine tuxedo… which I try  on and it fits, so I finally have a decent jacket for Act III, on the proviso that I post it back at the end of the run, as K&T aren’t back in London for a bit.  Kate is rather pleased that her tuxedo is going to the Opera!

Awash with hairspray Copyright Cherry Potts 2011

First night, as it always is, is both awesome and chaotic.  The dressing room is awash with unsuitable snacks and hairspray, and we have to fight with the windows to be able to breathe at all. (Overheard: Pearse to Simon- I think- “I’ll be back later to make you look like Clark Gable”)

Simon Marsh is glued to his iPad, checking out the 250+ photos from Dress rehearsals on Tony’s website.  There are nearly 1000 on the DVD, which is as much about what will fit on it as anything else- I know he took nearer 3000!

Harry has a long list of notes, all of which he is absolutely spot on about, including something (I never got what) which turned into a double act between him and Ollie:

Ollie, (whispering) : I think it’s Doreen…
Harry: Doreen!
Ollie: and Pauline,
Harry: Pauline!
Ollie: and Maureen is it?
Harry: Maureen!

But it turns out it isn’t Maureen, it’s Maggie, which quite spoilt the rhythm, I was already mentally setting it to music… never mind.

Barbara & John dressed for Act I copyright Cherry Potts 2011

Nick is more restrained in his notes, asking only for calm and precision, but  all this takes a while and we don’t get time for a proper warm up, not that it worries us much; our off stage chorus in Act I sounds stunning, and, despite half the corn baskets being left behind because they have been put somewhere different from rehearsal and people don’t notice or can’t find them (which means we have to pack the leaves down very tight to not have slipping hazards everywhere); Act I is a rip-roaring success from where I was standing.  I didn’t see or hear anything go wrong, and we had great fun.  Nick was looking happy too.

Tenors waiting for our entrance, Act II copyright Cherry Potts 2011

Act II, and the musical chairs Cotillion works, finally, including an hilarious bit in round two or three when a child is making for the chair Caroline has her eye on, and she physically picks her up by the shoulders and moves her away, impeccable timing, very funny.

arrives when it should and I don’t have to eat it, there is enough lemonade for the action between Lensky and Olga, and everyone sings and dances and acts with conviction, the chairs don’t collapse and I hit all the cues correctly with the right words. Yay!

Act III, in the wings copyright Cherry Potts 2011

Act III is slightly less good, despite yet another run through from Duncan.  We are called very late for our entry, and many people don’t come on with their allotted consort, or at the right door, and it throws us off a bit.  Our entrances are not as wonderful as I would personally have liked.

And we manage to mess up the curtain call!

The orchestra are supposed to go first, because they can’t be seen through us when we get up on the verandah; and people forget and surge forward.  Nick looks rightly annoyed; the orchestra deserve their acknowledgement: they played a storm.

Linda Hibberd, 1st night. copyright Kate Foley

Kate and Tonnie pronounce the evening a triumph, and Kate shows me a couple of sketches she did during the performance.  I didn’t know she drew, I know her as an award winning poet (considerably better than Lensky was every going to be!)  A and I already commented that Kate matches the wine description at the restaurant we went to Monday night (warm, generous and peppery), and I now add multi-talented!  Here’s one of the sketches:

Kate asks me later why in Act III the men were all sitting to one side like it was synagogue.  I explain about getting our cues and tempo right; but thinking about it, dramatically I think it works:

I’m imagining that Gremin has put on his soiree as a charity fund-raiser, one of those things people of a certain sort have to attend, whether the entertainment is to their taste or not; and the men have been dragged there by their more enthusiastic spouses.  However, ballet not being their thing, they gravitate together to talk business (I was having a very earnest  with the British Ambassador about the car industry in Detroit) or more likely the baseball world series, which they could have stayed home and caught on their radio or television sets, if they hadn’t been dragged to this darned party!

We have a nearly full house, there are probably only ten spare seats, so if you are thinking of coming Wednesday 13th, Friday 15th or Sunday 17th, and don’t yet have a ticket, you’ll need to be quick.

Copyright Cherry Potts 2011