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D&GArtsFest: I Am Loud Spoken Word Workshop

May 24 @ 1:00 pm 3:00 pm

Interested in trying out spoken word poetry or improving your skills? New and developing writers are invited to join the Loud Poets for a workshop on composing and performing spoken word, featuring writing and performance exercises and practical advice on building confidence onstage.

£8 Under 26: £4

01387 259627

View Organiser Website

100 High Street
Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway DG1 2BJ United Kingdom
01387 252435
View Venue Website

Access Information: Level Access in rear of building through adjacent close to left-hand side of the Cafe (facing the front of the building). To ensure your experience with us is as best as it can be, please do let us know if you have any specific access requirements and we’d be happy to help. Please email Kevin or Sal on: [email protected] or phone 01387 252435 and speak with one of our team. We are able to provide walk-throughs of the building before attending our events as well as assign seating before your arrival.

Musings Opportunities

Behavin trials a new kind of experiment for Just Start Here 2020

In July of 2019, a micro-festival of performance art, live music and spontaneous creative action took place across the High Street of Dumfries. Set-up to agitate, disrupt, celebrate, poke fun and play, Behavin’ invited performance artists, the local community, musicians and local artists to contribute to a new kind of scene for Dumfries. 2019 featured the world’s smallest music venue, drag performance, Kung Fu master-classes, a band of seagulls, plays in our elevator theatre and a madcap day of extraordinary work from artists throughout Scotland.
And since then, it’s all gone a little bit quiet. The streets have resumed their normal operation of passers-by, people watchers, the school run, lunch- time meetings, chai latte soirees and bank appointments, all this alongside the looming avian threat of a hungry, sausage-roll-loving-seagull. Colloquially known as ‘Rats With Wings’ (also a good name for a death metal band).
Until now.
Behavin’ have been invited to take part in Just Start Here 2020 with the National Theatre of Scotland. And this year, we’re doing just that, starting right at the beginning. Our troupe (if you can call it that) is banding together once again to play, chat, explore ideas and perform, in the very heart of the High Street.
Welcome to Elsewhere, bring a chair.
We don’t know what it will be. We’re sure we’ll be sitting on a chair. We’re sure it might rain. We’re certain it’s in Fountain Square. Something is starting.
With Just Start Here, we’re in the most unique position as local artists to explore, create, start, challenge and expand our creative horizons. And we invite you, our community, our network to start something too. Join us on the 28th and 29th of February and explore how we can start a new kind of creative ambition for Dumfries.
Just Start Here is a two day festival of bold new work, taking over shop-fronts, working men’s clubs and the streets of Dumfries this February. Organised by National Theatre of Scotland, Just Start Here will take place on 28th and 29th of February 2020. Tickets are available now, for details on how to get yours along with the full line please visit the NTS website:
Tickets and General Information
Festival Line Up

Artists Kerry Morrisson and Helmut Lemke perform a durational piece as part of Behavin 2019.
Musings News

Brave New Words Celebrates Four Years on the High Street!

This Friday sees the return of Brave New Words to The Stove for a special evening celebrating the fourth anniversary of the monthly event for new words spoken, sung, signed, shot or silenced. Since 2015, the open mic night has offered a platform to the town to celebrate diversity and challenge stigmas and stereotypes through spoken word, poetry, music and film.

Since our first Brave New Words four years ago, we’ve seen a new kind of scene flourish in the region. New poets, performers, musicians and writers from all walks of life coming together to support one another as well as a hunger for new work from local people. It’s really been an amazing journey.

Brave New Words plays a vital role in The Stove Network’s mission to bring vibrancy to evenings in the Town Centre, offering support to those willing to make a positive and impactful change in their home town and beyond. Since it began in 2015, Brave New Words has voyaged to festivals, created multi-disciplinary installations and uncovered an incredible amount of talent in the heart of Dumfries.

Over the years, Brave New Words has hosted some of the biggest names in the spoken word scene and as the project moves forward into 2020, there are a host exciting collaborations with national organisations, local initiatives and remarkable writers across Scotland.

This Friday’s Brave New Words tackles the theme of ‘Rebellion’ and will be a night full of surprises. Everyone is welcome to come along, and those wishing to participate should arrive prompt for 7pm to sign up to perform.



Orphaned Limbs – In Residence


A week long residency followed by performance by dance collective Orphaned Limbs exploring connections and notions of ‘home’, When in Roam. The residency included live music performance from musician Ross Whyte, and open performance workshops.

Working alongside Orphaned Limbs, ‘stovies interactive’ Michael Sullivan and Donna Winter were commissioned to make responsive work alongside the When in Roam project.

When in roam Menu2

The Stovies Interactive kept a video diary, available to view online here

The performance itself, a mixture of projection, dance, spoken word and sound took place across both floors of the Stove, followed by a Q&A with the performers and artists involved.


This commission was supported by:

News Project Updates

Brave New Words

Building on the success of Open Mouth during The Stove’s Open House events, we welcome back Sindigo and Eryl Shields, alongside curatorial member Martin O’Neill who are hosting Brave New Words, a day of performance poetry and spoken word at the Stove. Brave New Words is an afternoon of free discussion events, workshops and one to one consultations for the aspiring performance poet, followed in the evening by Dumfries’ first ever poetry Slam, with the winner securing a place in the Scottish Slam Championships in Glasgow!
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or have never done it before we want to hear from you!
There is absolutely no restriction on content.
For full instructions, to take part or for more information send an email to: [email protected]

Detailed below are the times and content of the discussion events and workshops:

2PM – 3PM: Sotirius Frantzanas: Democracy: What does it mean now?

Sotirius shall host a discussion on the meaning of democracy in the 21st Century. How does it relate to the current political landscape and in turn, our personal life? Is there such a thing as a truly democratic society? An open discussion and lecture on the process, philosophy and meaning of democracy in 2015.

Democracy. Ligorano/Reese.

3PM – 4PM: Emily Elver: Personal is Political

Emily Elver is a ground-breaking spoken word performer from Edinburgh who combines the shocking and mysterious with the mundane, disgusting and delightful. There is no subject matter off limits and she deals out laughter and gasps in equal measure. She co-hosts Poetry Circus and is editor of Edinburgh’s newest literary magazine Freak Circus

Emily’s workshop aims to help remove some of the stumbling blocks aspiring writers and new performers have when trying to tell a personal tale. Emily will offer guidance on how to approach personal subjects confidently through discussions and readings of her work, followed by one to one advice and mentoring for the aspiring performance poet.

4PM – 5PM: Rory O’B: Rhyming and Rapping

Rory O’B is a fiercely intelligent rapper and talented musician from Oban. He has played at Kelburn, Audio Soup and The Loch Lomond Boat Party and performs to enthusiastic crowds both as a solo artist and with Ciaran Mac. He is currently part of Volition in Glasgow and runs exciting rap workshops for young people.

Rory O’B’s workshop looks at the origins of Hip-Hop culture, where it’s going and how we can relate it to our lives. Participants will have the chance to write their own rap, get to grips with rhythms, rhyming techniques and patterns with the opportunity to perform what they’ve written to the group.



7PM – Slam Championships

Brace yourselves for Dumfries’ first ever poetry Slam! Expect the controversial, heartfelt, beautiful, disgusting and joyous. Staged in three rounds, the winner will go on to compete in the Scottish Slam Championships in Glasgow.

News Project Updates

#OpenMouth – If you thought nothing cool ever happened in Dumfries…

By Sindigo

If you thought nothing cool ever happened in Dumfries then your mind must have been truly blown by the recent Open House series of events at the Stove. If you missed it, then I’m sorry its not Dumfries that’s uncool my friend – its you!

On Tuesday 28th of April The Stove opened its doors to anyone wanting to have a go at the fashionable art of Spoken Word. The all-day live event was called Open Mouth and promised to wow audiences with local and national talent whilst providing support and encouragement to keen youngsters with a raw thirst for poetry slamming.

Young Stover Ivor Gott and Sindigo prepared an eye-catching backdrop for the stage
Young Stover Ivor Gott and Sindigo prepared an eye-catching backdrop for the stage

Part 1 – Schools Workshops @OpenMouth

In the morning pupils from a local school attended workshops designed to get them thinking about words.

They were split into 3 groups to rotate between 3 sessions. The Open Jar Collective put a foodie twist on things and each group was given the opportunity to paint a plate which will be used in the new Stove Cafe.


So not only will they be eating their own words when they say Dumfries isn’t cool, they will be eating them off a plate with their own words painted onto it! You couldn’t make it up, its so genius.

All the participants were keen to come back to the Stove for other events "I'm coming back to eat off my own plate", said one, "my mum will be so impressed"
All the participants were keen to come back to the Stove for other events “I’m coming back to eat off my own plate”, said one, “my mum will be so impressed”

At the same time as these workshops were taking place Poet Eryl Shields was conducting creative writing workshops upstairs.


To delve into their deepest personal truths Eryl set the theme as “10 things I know to be true” Eryl said “We shared the lists, then I asked them to write a short piece in their chosen form, based on, or inspired by, any aspect of their own list. We read out our pieces and looked at how they could be redrafted to be more effective as spoken word performance pieces. I very impressed by the strength and variety of the work produced

Sindigo (second from right) with school pupils in an Open Mouth workshop

Meanwhile, in another room of The Stove’s amazing new premises,I was busy hosting Spoken Word performance masterclasses. I explained what “Spoken Word” was, what it could be and how they could make it unique for themselves. The main rule we established was that it should be your own work and it should be performed in front of a crowd.


The pupils then wrote a short piece about themselves, employing emotion or humour, often both.They didn’t seem shy or scared when I told them it was time to read their pieces into a microphone. With sensitivity they were given critical feedback by myself and the other members of the group on how they could improve content and delivery.


For the humourous ones we talked about ways to make them funnier- exaggerating actions, using pauses appropriately and engaging the audience with eye-contact and pointing. “Do you do this for a living!?”, one girl asked, “thats so cool, I wanna do that”

At one point some of the participants told me they could speak other languages and were able to translate their pieces into Mandarin and Lithuanian. By the end of the class we had two girls rapping about their love of cheese with audience participation sections in three languages. Yaldi!

Afterwards their teacher sent a text to say “Thank-you very much for today, the kids loved it and I thought it was really interesting and learned loads too !”

Part 2 – Open Workshop @OpenMouth

One student even came back at 5pm to take part in the open mentoring sessions with established performance poet Emily Elver, Emcee and Girobabies front man Mark McGhee and Scottish Slam champion Bram E. Giebens.

Open Mouth evening workshop
Open Mouth evening workshop

The Notorious Young Stove were also heavily in presence as well as several other local poets and keen amateurs. Sitting round in a circle talking about how we first came across writing I suddenly felt like I was at a Poets anonymous meeting.

“My names Sindigo and I’m an addict”….”How long have you been addicted to poetry Sindigo?”

But the mood soon lifted with a few laughs, participants were able to get some invaluable advice from our guests and even had a chance to perform their work and get feedback from the experts.

Mark McGhee keeps it real
Mark McGhee keeps it real

Part 3 – Gig @OpenMouth

After the briefest of pauses for pizza and ginger beer, I took to the stage to announce the evening performances and thank the wonderful folks of The Stove for making it all possible. Scottish Slam champion Bram broke us in and was incredible as usual with his haunting portrayal of the inner psyche and poignant references to politics and personal anguish.

Pierluigi Angelini

Local poet and keen appreciater of the Stove Peter Angelini provided a sentimental and romantic look at Dumfries and the surrounding area with his infectious smile winning over the crowds. Next up was our incredible school girl Annemarie who had taken part in the morning workshops. She bravely took to the stage and melted our hearts with a poem about her baby sister’s ginger afro and her heartshaped freckles. I was swelling with pride at my wee protege.


Young Stovers were the real stars of the show, Ivor Gott wowed us with a poem wrote on the day about mother earth, Cara McNaught sauntered on to the stage with real style and blasted out an accomplished rap as if she’d been doing it for years. Then Rhiannon Dewar bared her soul with a hard hitting piece straight from the heart. She modestly declared afterwards “I definitely found it a cool experience”. Steven Rogerson proved himself to be an accomplished writer of personal experiences and his confidence shone out on the mic. All future stars in the making!

Ivor Gott
Ivor Gott

Mark McGhee of Jakal Trades showed us why he’s always an asset on any bill with his faST-paced social commentary and wit, inventing his own words and getting the audience chanting along. His poem about Edward Snowdon is still one of my favourites and he absolutely smashed it to rapturous applause.

Mark McGhee
Mark McGhee
Eryl Shields

Eryl Shields’s refined and etheral style conveyed wonderfully her polished poetic narrative. Catherine Major had a punchy slam style and her savvy performance was an asset to the show. Herald at the Stove and all round ray of light Moxie de Paulette gave us a rousing reaction to the election including a mighty fine impression of Nigel Farage. Ginger, a local professional took us all to muddy fields and festival shenanigans with his take on some tradition Burns, twisted through psychedelic raving and all night swallying.

Emily Elver, another rising star on the scene threw out another phenominal performance. She had us all in stitches with her sci-fi foreplay piece and demonstrated why she’s a much loved talent and unstoppable force of spoken word alchemy. She said, “Open mouth was one of the best events I’ve had the privilege to be involved in. The workshop was buzzing with new voices and experienced performers. The open mic showcased how many amazing new performers Dumfries & Galloway has. Could not have been more impressed with The Stove team, and Sindigo’s hard work.”

Sindigo on stage

I enjoyed introducing everyone and felt an electricity running through my body every time I went on the mic. It was actually one of the best nights of my life and a celebration of everything that is coming alive in Dumfries and all over Scotland.

“This is just the beginning!!”, said Debz McDozey, leader of The Young Stove. I gave her a high five!

#OpenMouth was produced in association with the Wigtown Festival Company…..huge thanks to them for everything

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