Posts Tagged ‘poets’

Showcase Live 2008

February 6, 2009

Photo from the Showcase Live performance

Photo from the Showcase Live performance

A film is being produced of the show. Extracts from the film, some photographs and other material will be going on to the Showcase Live website in the near future:

The project has been picked as one of the top ten projects in the mental health and arts and ‘black and minority ethnic’ (BME) areas.


“Showcase Live” – 20th November 2008

November 10, 2008

Young men talk about life in Leicester in new performance showcase

Seven young men from Leicester are being given the opportunity to voice their experiences of life in a brand new show featuring music, poetry and film. They are being supported by nationally acclaimed, professional artists as part of a groundbreaking project to help mental health service users.

Lydia Towsey, Executive Producer, BrightSparks Arts in Mental Health Group:

“Young men experiencing mental health issues, particularly those of black or minority ethnic origin, face a wide range of health and social inequalities. ‘Showcase Live’ will help to raise the profile of this under represented group by presenting their stories in an exciting and contemporary way.”

Showcase Live poster

Showcase Live poster

‘Showcase Live’ takes place at The Y Theatre in November. It is a partnership project, led by BrightSparks. It is supported by Akwaaba Ayeh and Mainstream Partnership and funded by The Community Development Foundation and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

‘Showcase Live’ will take place on the 20th of November 2008, at The Y Theatre, 7 East Street, Leicester, LE1 6EY. To reserve a ticket (priced £7 or £5 for concessions), please contact The Y Theatre Box Office on 0116 255 7066 or at

For more information, contact Lydia Towsey on mobile 07888 847840 or via email:

Showcase Live is online:
Also on myspace and facebook.


“Showcase Live” – 20th November 2008

October 5, 2008

Young men of diverse cultural origin and with experience of mental health issues are currently taking part in ‘Showcase Live’: a ground-breaking performance project, running from September to November 2008.

Live show

The project is enabling up to 7 young men of predominantly African, Caribbean and Asian descent to develop brand new work in spoken word, poetry, hip hop, rap and monologue. They will perform their commissioned pieces against a backdrop of music and visuals in a live show on 20 November at 7pm at The Y Theatre in Leicester.

Experienced freelancers wanted

“Showcase Live” is seeking experienced freelancers to join the team and make the live show come alive.  The project needs an experienced Musical Director with proven experience in their field and a good working knowledge of how words and performance can work with music and visual media.  The project is also seeking both a talented Designer (print and online) and a Photographer.  Download the “Showcase Live” creative job advertisement for more information about these job opportunities, requiring applications to be received by October 6th.

Post-show discussion

In addition to providing this rare opportunity to performing artists, the project will offer a further number of people the chance to participate in a post-show discussion after ‘Showcase Live’ on November 20th. It will give audiences the chance to ask questions to the performers, and feedback on their own experiences of mental wellbeing and emotional health.


Lydia Towsey, Chair of BrightSparks and the Project’s Coordinator states:

“Showcase Live will see six men of diverse cultural origin, discussing their experiences of mental health issues and cultural difference. We’re hoping that it will go some way to raising the profile of a group, still experiencing dramatically poorer mental health outcomes nationally.”

The young men taking part are being paid for their participation and guided through a dream workshop program. This includes personal mentoring from well-known artists and practitioners including producer Melanie Abrahams, poets Nicholas Makoha and Michael Brome (aka Sureshot) and Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, the internationally acclaimed artist of Jamaican descent who has also been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Partnership Project

Showcase Live is a partnership project, led by BrightSparks and supported by Akwaaba Ayeh and funded by Community Development Foundation and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

If you are interested in taking part in the Showcase Live Post Show Discussion, please contact Lydia Towsey on mobile 07888847840 or via email:

Please direct all enquiries to Lydia Towsey. To reserve a ticket to see ‘Showcase Live’ please contact The Y Theatre Box Office on 0116 255 7066.


Young Male Artists wanted…

August 13, 2008

Are you a young man with experience of mental health issues? Are you also an emerging poet or budding performer? If so, ‘Showcase Live’ needs you!

What is it?

  • This is a creative arts project targeting young men (16-35) of primarily African, Asian or Carribean descent.
  • It will use artforms like poetry, hip hop, rap and others.
  • It is set to take place between September and November 2008.
  • It will see 6-7 young men (who will be between 16 and 35) working closely with leading arts professionals to produce a live showcase of their own work.
  • Each participant will be paid for their participation.

Tell me more …

Over a series of 9 creative workshops 6-7 young men will receive close mentoring from the following leading artists:

  • Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze – the internationally acclaimed poet of Jamaican origin
  • Nicolas Makoha – a charismatic poet and educationalist who has performed around the UK and
  • Michael Brome (AKA Sureshot) – experienced local poet and ‘big brother’ of the project.

The workshops will lead to a final show, to be staged at the newly refurbished Y Theatre. It will be professionally produced by the high profile renaissance one and directed by the nationally acclaimed producer, mentor and curator Melanie Abrahams.

Who’s behind it?

‘Showcase Live’ is an exciting new project made possible by funding from the Community Development Foundation and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. Led by BrightSparks (Voluntary Arts in Mental Health Group) it’s core partners are:

  • Akwaaba Ayeh (local mental health advocacy service for people of African, Carribean and Asian descent, formally the ‘Mental Health Shop’)
  • Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and
  • renaissance one (nationally acclaimed agency, producing and curating spoken word, poetry and fiction-based events.)

How do I get involved?

If you like to take part in the main showcase – or attend a couple of more open poetry producing workshops, to be led by Jean and Sureshot, then let us know.
You can do so by calling:
Pamela Campbell (Akwaaba Ayeh) on: 0116 2471525,  email:

For more information please contact Lydia Towsey, Chair of BrightSparks and Creative Arts Coordinator for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust: