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Springboard - Day 2.


Emilie Lauren Jones and Mikael Peterssen

Springboard Festival – Day 2 Runs until Saturday 1 April.

Review by Barbara Goulden


Coventry's own Poet Laureate Emilie Lauren Jones opened Day Two of The Criterion's Springboard Festival with heartwarming images of her life and occasional battles with an imaginary "rhino" that sometimes moves into her home in an attempt to lower her mood.


Her words, accompanied by international pianist Mikael Petersson, are uplifting, sometimes comic but above all aimed at leaving audiences full of hope and positivity.


Emilie and Mikael give performances all over the country and claim they can detect the difference between polite applause and real enthusiasm. Fortunately, they were on safe ground at the Criterion.


Throughout the week there will continue to be performances of Exotic, the post "me-too" poem written by Cassandra O Floresca and performed by Talya Rajagukguk. This can be heard again tomorrow (March 27).


Rebellious Sisterhood by Karen Forbes


The main drama offering for Sunday (repeated March 27 and 28) is Rebellious Sisterhood, featuring Christine Evans, Dawn Morris and Alexandra Vickers in an imagined conversation set in 1913 as the Suffragette movement attracts ever keener young advocates willing to do anything for the cause. Written by Karen Forbes we meet Emmeline Pankhurst recovering from her latest stay in prison; learn more about the Emily who threw herself under the King's horse; and are reminded of the sheer brutality of force feeding.


There's jealousy and sexual tension too, as the police come hammering on the door.


Performances still to come include a short drama about Hattie McDaniel, the black actress in Gone With The Wind and music from Wes Finch and Keith Donnelly.


For the full programme visit: www.criteriontheatre.co.uk


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