francesca beard

Spoken word Masterclasses with Rally & Broad in 2016!

Hello all!


And so…we are DELIGHTED to announce that we will be running three sets of weekend masterclasses in the spring of 2016 with three incredible spoken word performers: Francesca Beard, Ross Sutherland and Caroline Bird! The first two masterclasses will take place at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, and the final one with Caroline Bird as a residential weekend up in Moniack Mhor in Invernesshire.

These masterclasses grew out of our pilot series last spring. They are suitable for more experienced performers  of spoken word, over 18 years old, who have already undertaken at least one feature set and are looking to develop their practice. In addition, participants from the first two Masterclasses will be invited to showcase their work at a special event at the Scottish Poetry Library on Thursday 14th April 2016.

Booking for Francesca’s masterclass in February is open NOW! For full details on the content of the workshops including how to apply for a place, please read on… 🙂



  • Friday 5th (evening), Sat 6th & Sun 7th February 2016 (1030 – 4pm): Francesca Beard. Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh. £90, 12 places.


The Apology Shop – Edinburgh!

Pictures! The Apology Shop @The Bongo Club, Edinburgh on Friday 23rd January. With Christopher Willatts (and special guest Toby Mottershead), Emily Dodd, special guest Ryan Van Winkle […it was a special guest kinda night… Ed.], Francesca Beard, the mighty Hector Bizerk, Rally, the Broad & hunners of audience. It was a Good Show. 

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Six Questions for…Francesca Beard!

Francesca Beard will be the headline poet at Rally & Broad ‘The Apology Shop’ on Friday 23rd January at The Bongo Club, Edinburgh (£5 on door or advance tickets!). We thought we’d ask her a few questions to break the ice. We got some of favourite answers yet…



1. All hail the Queen of British Performane Poetry*! Why performance poetry, for you?

I was writing very emo, obscure page poems and having fantasies I’d be like Emily Dickinson. After my death, someone would find my poems in a drawer and declare me a genius.

Then I sent some of these emo, obscure poems to a literary magazine and they got rejected.

I had read a Paul Celan poem which likened writing a poem to sending off a message in a bottle and this had seemed very beautiful at the time but then I remembered Paul Celan committed suicide.

And I thought, ‘Well, f*ck this for a game of soldiers.’

So I went to an open mic night and read those emo poems. It was then I realised they were rubbish.

I was so grateful not to have wasted my life, sadly writing rubbish emo poetry, that I decided then and there to devote it to spoken word.


2. What, for you, is important in a good performance poem?

An element of improvisation, of liveness. Of being a voice amongst other voices. The quality of coming from a place of listening, of being one of the stories in the room that wants to be told.


3. Do you think performance poetry has changed in the years since you started?

I have clearly evolutionised performance poetry by starting to be part of it and find it implausible to talk about, outside of myself. Did it exist? Did anything exist?


4. Where is the best place that poetry has taken you?

A Colombian prison?  Rally and Broad? My own human heart?!


5. Where is the worst place that poetry has taken you?

See above.


6. And finally…what would be in your Apology Shop**?

Words collapsed in on themselves, a cage barred large as the world, strange matter made into a song, a stained but clean glass blanket of folded up space-time.

Also, over-priced orbit chewing gum and a lack of advertised as discounted kettle chips.

*the Metro

**the theme for Rally & Broad in January is ‘The Apology Shop’ – see the website for more details!

So…you want to come and see her in action, aye??

Ours is a sniff of remorselessness and a hatchet job of life. See ye at the front!



A New Project from Rally & Broad!

Rally & Broad launches The Masterclass Series! With two fantastic workshops from Francesca Beard and Salena Godden!


Hello! We hope that your New Year has started with a magnificent bang/serene awakening/massive breakfast/as you will.

We’ve got an exciting new project trialling over the next two months, and we wanted to let you know all about it. In January and February, two of our feature poets (Francesca Beard and Salena Godden) will be offering masterclasses in various aspects of spoken word and performance poetry. On Saturday 24th January (12 – 3pm), Francesca will be focusing on how to build a live set, offering an insight into how to engage a live audience. On Saturday 21st February (12 – 3pm), Salena will be focusing on writing and performing memoir; including how to walk the line between the private and the public when performing or reading in a live setting.

Salena Godden

These workshops will be part of a six month masterclass series, aimed at anyone interested in developing their skills, whether this is as someone building a practices in spoken word, an author looking to develop their reading abilities, or for newcomers looking to explore all aspects of spoken word. Although developed as a series, any one workshop will be a fantastic development opportunity.


The workshops are £8 each in advance, or £10 on the day. We are also offering a special price of £15 if both workshops are booked in advance. To book a place, click here:


We hope to see you there. Happy 2015!

Rachel & Jenny

I’m So Sorry…Rally & Broad: ‘The Apology Shop!’ Edinburgh, Jan 23rd.

Friday 23rd January, 7pm. The Bongo Club, Cowgate, Edinburgh. £5.

‘The Apology Shop’: defn (verb). The activity undertaken when one has caused offence and/or upset in order to demonstrate due shame, and apologise to one’s partner/spouse/friend/flatmate/neighbour/hamster. Most often includes the purchase of chocolate/cake/wine/flowers/jigsaws/AA batteries/engine oil/replacement lunch items. Ahem.

‘The Apology Shop’: defn (noun). The shop to which one goes to purchase said items. Most often the nearest possible, earliest opening shop – hence the preponderance of items which may be found at early opening newsagents and/or late night garages.

‘The Apology Shop’: examples of usage. ‘I’m so sorry that I ate all the sushi that you were going to have for your lunch tomorrow, that small plastic box that was to be the one shining light in your otherwise stressful day. I’m so sorry. I have been to the Apology Shop. Please accept these 47 Twixes as a demonstration of my extreme contrition.’



Apologise? Us? Really?

Oh January, thou are sodden and freezing. But we’re warming things up at R&B towers, starting as we mean to go on, with our tongues firmly in our cheeks. Come join us for a celebration of the apology in all its glories with this incredible lineup. They’re sorry for nothing.




Francesca Beard was born in Malaysia and spent the 70’s growing up in Penang, an idyllic island paradise. Since then, quite frankly, life has been down-hill all the way, but with occasional slow climbs… a bit like mowing a sloping lawn. After a spell in real jobs, she gave it all up to become a fictional character and now exists as a London-based poet, performing spoken word to lucky audiences all over Britain and the World.

She’s been called ‘spine-tingling, witty and narcotic’ (Independent) and ‘The Queen of British Performance Poetry’ (London Metro) She has been writer in residence at the Tower of London, Natural History Museum and Metropolitan Police, has written plays for radio and has been on attachment to the Royal Court Theatre and the BBC as one of the UK’s most promising writers. She is currently working on ’storyverse’, an interactive format for live and on-line participants with B3 Media, supported by Arts Council, England, developed through residencies with Banff Centre, Canada and the Mixed Reality Lab, Nottingham University.




The experimental hip-hop duo comprises of drummer Audrey and rapper Louie. They have been building a solid reputation for their illustrious live shows, inking a new page in an exciting new chapter for Scottish music. With a growing fan base the dynamic duo have drawn comparisons from music journalists as a being like a hybrid of The White Stripes and The Roots “coming down the M8 motorway”.   They approach song writing in quite a unique way. Audrey has explained before that she feels all good songs should be able to stand alone with acoustic guitar and vocal. There is no hiding place at acoustic shows. Hector feel that way about hiphop. A good hip-hop song should be able to grab the attention of an audience through drums and lyricism. They have built a strong following who seem to agree with those principles. We are EXTREMELY excited – and unapologetic – to have them on the R&B stage.

“ The Glaswegian duo don’t miss a line – or beat, There songs contain a sly humour that’s often missing in Scottish hip-hop. “

The Skinny.

“ I’m staggered by their cleverly intricate word play, touching on local issues in a profound way.”

The Scotsman

 “positive, observant and socially smart rhymes are backed up by on the money rhythms that change pace, volume and texture, creating grooves that have the crowd participating with enthusiasm. Audrey puts down a beat on the bass drum that would revive the dead.”

Ravechild review of King Tuts show




Emily Dodd is an award winning author, working as artist, scientist and screenwriter (BBC’s Nina & The Neurons) to bring magic to readers and audiences alike. Her first picture book, Can’t Dance Cameron: A Scottish Capercaille Story was published in September 2014 with Floris Books. She can make balloon animals, and once made a ‘Guess The Poo’ interactive exhibit for an ‘Animal Imagine’ exhibit in Cardiff. She probably won’t be doing that at Rally & Broad. We think.




Christopher is an Edinburgh based singer songwriter, providing folk and ramshackle blues to the masses.





Jess is a rising new voice on the Edinburgh spoken word scene. Part of the 2014 winning team from Edinburgh University at the UK University Slam Championships, and a regular performer with the Loud Poets massive, her words will stir and delight you.


Ours is a cup of chagrin, with a touch of bitters. See ye at the front!