Mix it, shake it, stir it, taste it. We are big fans of a cocktail or five here at the ‘Lion, and judging by the looks of you lot on Sunday mornings, you’re partial too. So what a joy it is to hear the news of an entire festival, dedicated to the often-fruity, sometimes-snooty beverages, is taking place in our city this month. The seven-day festival sees Nottingham venues – including Boilermaker, Rum House, Pepper Rocks and Curious venues – team up with a premium spirit brand, serving selected £5 cocktails to those with wristbands. Boilermaker’s bigging up Hendrick’s; Rub Smokehouse have got Licor 43; Suede are swilling the Blackwell rum; and Brass Monkey are chilling with glasses of Wray and Nephews, to name a few. Creative concoctions aplenty churned out of your favourite haunts. Not only that, there’ll be the chance for you to find out how to become a mixologist yersen in masterclasses all over the city, plus there’s surprise workshops and parties to boot. This is the first festival of its kind, so go nuts. Just make sure you steady yersen on the way out.
Monday 24 - Sunday 30 April, £3.50 - £10 wristband, Nottingham City Centre, event link
Every other month, our Write Lion page in the printed magazine is dedicated to some of the city’s most notable poets. There’s nothing we like more than to shout about you lot getting jiggy with some rhyming couplets and metered verse. In conjunction with the Nottingham Poetry Festival, we’re taking over Rough Trade on Monday evening to showcase some of our favourite local poets. Panya Banjoko, Becky Cullen and Sue Dymoke are on standby to perform some of their favourite poems, alongside Di Slaney, Rory Waterman and our brand spankin’ Editor, Bridie Squires aka Brizzaling. Once you’ve been well and truly inspired by those boggers, there’ll be an open mic slot for you to dazzle us with your words. The evening will be hosted by our Poetry Editor, Aly Stoneman.
Monday 24 April, 7pm, free, Rough Trade, event link
Also jumping on the poetry festival bandwagon are the folk behind Phlexx. And they’re taking it to the extreme by inviting all those who dare to enter into their Poetry Slam. Oosh. There’s twenty four poets involved in four heats spread over the course of the week, culminating in the grand finale on Friday evening. Each poet has a ten minute slot, that’s to be judged and scored by three anonymous judges embedded within the audience. Monday night sees our Bridie having a go against Alex Milne and Rhymical Mike, Tuesday sees Leanne Moden, Martin Grey and Teddy Hempstead battle it out, and on Wednesday Alice Short and Benji Smedz are among the contestants. Finally, catch Chai Larden and Mimi AC have a crack at a place in the final. And it all comes to a head on Friday. Worra week.
Monday 24 April - Friday 28 April, 8pm, free, Suede, event link
The Television Workshop play season is drawing to a close. The young actors have been on a bit of a whirlwind ride of it, having moved premises from their Stoney Street basement and setting up shop behind Ocean. But, they’re pulling another play outta the bag this week, with their rendition of One Man, Two Guvnors, directed by Fiona Watson. When Francis Henshall is fired from his skiffle band, he becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a bit of a dodgy Derek – or should that be, Davina – out to collect £6,000 from his – or her – fiancee’s father. It’s a hilarious farcical comedy that’ll have you giggling from start to finish. Go along, and support. Plus, keep your eye out for the Television Workshop Kickstarter, and dig deep to keep the local talent pool ticking on.
Wednesday 26 - Saturday 29 April, 7.30pm, £8, Richmond House, event link
The poetry game can be offputting to some. Nowt but a bunch of silver-spoon, white, middle-aged blokes spouting off about how the trees in their family’s private orchard make ‘em feel on a rainy Tuesday. But, there’s poetry to be found almost everywhere, not least in the world of hip hop and rap. CRS – the St Ann’s recording studio that’s seen the likes of Scorzayzee pass through its doors – are breaking down those exclusive barriers this week, by hosting a series of performances at Rough Trade. Jah Digga, a Notts legend in his own right, will be in attendance, alongside a bunch of other Notts heads. Open your mind and pay ‘em a visit. It’ll do you good.
Wednesday 26 April, 7pm, donations welcome, Rough Trade, event link
Press releases are pretty dull. A generic email sent to our inbox, sometimes thoughtful enough to include a photo, most of the time not. But MUD Press pulled out all the stops and actually sent us a handwritten letter to inform us about their outdoor, festival-themed launch of their brand new WOMAN anthology and illustrative zine. Proper. So we shall be there on Friday eve, as we hope you will too, to get stuck in to some live music, live art, have our faces and bodies painted, and find out what is involved in a poetry kissing booth. Intriguing. It’ll form part of Nottingham Poetry Festival, as is everything else that’s cracking off this week.
Friday 28 April, 5pm, free, Cobden Chambers Courtyard, event link
We could all do with a bit of love, right about now. A load of peace masters have clocked on, and have come up with a programme of activities that’s set to Zen up the masses until we’re all grinning from tab to tab. Nottingham Peacebuilders are kicking off their month long project this week, with a one man show at the Playhouse entitled This Evil Thing. The play, written and performed by Michael Mears is based on the real life experiences of conscientious objectors Bert Brocklesby, a teacher and Methodist preacher, as well as Nottingham-based philosopher, Bertrand Russell. Book your tickets online, and keep both eyes peeled for more events from the elusive Peacebuilders over the coming weeks.
Friday 28 April, 8pm, £10/£12, Neville Studio, Nottingham Playhouse, event link
The Nottingham Poetry Festival are going all out to make this year’s wordy celebrations as accessible and open to all as they can. Over the last six months the Write Here: Sanctuary project have been working with refugees, asylum seekers and new arrivals to our humble city, giving them the space and opportunity to create and share their respective experiences through poetry. Those who have taken part in the project come from all corners of the world, including the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe, and they’ll be performing their respective works down at the Writers’ Studio this weekend. It’s bound to be both inspiring, interesting, hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure, so make sure you catch it. While it’s an event open to all ages, there will be adult themes, so consider leaving the kiddies at ‘ome.
Saturday 29 April, 12pm, free, Nottingham Writers Studio, event link
Everyone’s favourite local radio station is hitting double figures this week, and boy oh boy are they throwing a bit of a bash to celebrate. Taking over the Marcus Garvey, it’s a bleddy good job it’s a bank holiday cos they’re transforming the regular Sunday evening game. With live PA’s from Shola Ama, Kele le Rock and Bobby V, alongside music from the usual Kemet FM crew – Bertie B, Silky D, Peter Parker, Naughty Raver and Nico D –it’ll be a party to remember fo sho. You’re politely asked to respect the occasion and make the effort to look as slick as you can. Hoodies, tracksuits and trainers are a no no. Dress to the nines, and we’ll see you there.
Sunday 30 April, 10pm, £15, Marcus Garvey Ballroom, event link