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Shoot Festival scores with emerging talent

Coventry's Shoot Festival for emerging artists

kicked off at the Belgrade Theatre on April 4 with a splendid and surprising offering from three writers and performers who have already started to bloom.

Nick Knibb (right) warmed proceedings up (very necessary as the heating in the theatre had failed) with his rhymes about punk rock and the city's 2-Tone movement.

He harked back to a time when every teenager was in a band, when they played loud and fast and learned the tunes later. His poems made everyone laugh - and sigh with nostalgia for those days when girls' phone numbers were lost in shirt pockets..."A love emergent destroyed by a Tide of detergent..."

Sorry Nick I probably don't have that exactly right, but you get the drift.

He took us from the impact Ska and The Specials had on a city which has gone from Ghost Town to City of Culture host town...even though The Specials have always denied Coventry was the ghost town in question. Sure felt like it at times.

Next, Sebastian H-W appeared with his Boris Johnson wig and real-life docu-drama about the impact of urban regeneration on districts like Stratford in London during the Olympics, and what all this might mean for Coventry in the wake of 2021.

According to Boris it was all about "legacy" as much as world opinion, and Seb, like others, was offered a front-row seat into the desperate need for more affordable homes.

I loved Sebastian's precise costume changes as he could point to his own small part in all that was evolving. Members of the Coventry Society really need his youthful input.

Finally there was Susie Sillett with her own performance of Cheetah Sisters, the real story of her and her adopted Chinese sister who joined us via a series of video reminiscences.

Each of the artists had been hugely encouraged by organisers of the Shoot Festival after demonstrating their talents. On Thursday and on April 5th the trio showcased not only their writing ability and vision, but their rather formidable acting talents.

The festival runs until today (April 7). For details visit the Preview section of our website or visit

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