Paula Varjack and Dan Simpson are the masterminds behind poetry gameshow Never Mind The Fullstops, as well as being poets and performers in their own right. Ahead of their takeover of Rally & Broad on Friday 19th December (The Bongo Club, Edinburgh. 7pm, £7/£5), we asked them a few questions about what to expect…
1. ‘Never Mind The Fullstops’ – whatnow?
Dan: NMTFS is a pop-meets-poetry panel show mash-up.
Paula: We get brilliant poets and performers to play silly games like Poetry Karaoke (singing poems to the tunes of pop songs)…
Dan: … and explore the efforts of celebrities writing poems.
Paula: We’ve seen a lot of James Franco, Britney Spears, Charlie Sheen & Beyonce, to give you an idea!
2. How did all this come about?
Dan: Paula and I have been running The Anti-Slam for a few years now, and love making shows that lovingly ridicule poetry.
Paula: I suggested a panel show-style format…
Dan: … which weirdly was something I had been thinking about for a few years too.
Paula: Then we devised some games and tried it out…
Dan: … and the acts and audiences enjoyed it!
Paula: And the best thing is that it is so much fun to play, having an audience there is like a bonus. It’s the only show I’ve ever done that I would happily play with friends in a living room, although maybe for that there’s slightly too much setting up.
3. And tell us a bit more about yourselves…
Dan: I’m mostly a spoken word poet who likes to put poetry out into the world in interesting ways and to new audiences. This often ends up happening in a comedic way – making people laugh is one of the best and most awesome things to do.
Paula: I’m an artist who is *unfaithful* to any one discipline 🙂 I like working in theatre and film, which sometimes involves spoken word and music. I take myself too seriously at times, so like picking apart all the forms i work with, mashing them up.
4. What do you really not mind?
Dan: I really don’t mind the admin side of being a freelance poet type person – I love me a spreadsheet!
Paula: I don’t mind all the socialising, I feed off of interacting with our audience. I could do with less admin but I can never get enough of making lists.
5. What is something that you really, really do mind, actually, thank you very much?
Dan: I mind that wealth inequality between the super-rich, rich and poor is huge and increasing, and that it’s getting harder and harder for us and the next generation to have genuine security.
Paula: I mind that any talk of inequality and difference can file your work into “issue based”. Talking about your experience is self expression of that experience, end of.
6. Edinburgh at Christmastime. Will you be iceskating?
Dan: So excited to be in Edinburgh at Christmastime (and not there just for the Fringe for a change!). If it’s cold I’m sure there’ll be some impromptu, whisky-fuelled ice skating and skidding down Niddry Street!
Paula: I am really really really bad at ice skating. Its not just a danger to myself but anyone around me on the rink.
See ye on the 19th!