The Empire Strikes Black

Blackdrop has been blessed with a diverse range of performers over the years, which has included the likes of Benjamin Zephaniah, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, and in my humble opinion, the best spoken-word performer on the circuit, ‘Stickman’ Higgins. After a temporary move to the New Art Exchange, the spoken word night is returning back to its roots at the Canal House Bar to celebrate its ninth anniversary. If that wasn’t enough reason to celebrate, their anniversary also falls on National Poetry Day whose theme this year is ‘stars’. If Blackdrop are able to draw on various performers from their illustrious past then we’re in for a right glittering treat, with Matt Black aka ‘Shortman’ already confirmed. I’m hoping that Michelle ‘Mother’ Hubbard will recite her Jamaican grandma poem, like a lot of her writing it is a beautifully weighted poem. Michelle was one of the commissioned poets for last year’s Lyric Lounge and gave my favourite performance. But the real success of Blackdrop is that it makes space for people to turn up on the night and perform. So here’s your chance to become the next twinkle.

If you fancy an entire evening of wordy delights then get to the Broadway Cinema at 6pm and hear Jon Ronson first (75mins, £10). He’ll be discussing The Psychopath Test. I interviewed Jon for the latest issue of LeftLion and can guarantee you that you’ll wet your knickers. So take a spare pair. The Canal House is a ten minute walk across town from the Broadway Cinema so plenty of time to do both.

Blackdrop 4 October The Canal House Bar, Castle Boulevard. 8pm – 10pm. £3