Paul Stones - Performance Direction

Paul Stones helps poets act, writers perform, and the terrified speak.

In Brighton Mondays: parenting, Strindberg, singing, and a crime novel

Up for discussion this week; parenting, a theatre classic on tour, UK open mic competition and a novel set in Brighton.

Dr Tom Scanlon is director of public health for Brighton & Hove and is promoting a public consultation called the ‘Big Parenting Debate’ asking for your thoughts and experiences bringing up a family.

Felicity Rhys is artistic director of UK Touring Theatre whose production of August Strindberg’s ‘Miss Julie’ is coming to the Connaught Theatre in Worthing.

Kelly Bennett is a singer who is taking part in the ‘Open Mic UK’ competition and she will be singing live on the show.

Jason Michael is author of The Final Game, a crime novel set in Brighton and drawing on the author’s 25 years in the police service.


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Soundscape: Less a bolt of lightning, than the lightning of Bolt

pod3A 1 minute documentary produced for the First Spark Radio Festival 2013.

It was one of 68 entries played on the day (2nd Feb) and was chosen for the Festival’s commended listening list.

Just to accentuate the nerdiness of the piece…..all the crowd sounds come from 100m races and the final one is 9.58seconds long, which is Usain Bolt’s World Record time for the distance.

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Soundscape: March for England

March for EnglandIn April 2012 a group of around 50 men with some women and a few children arrived in Brighton to ‘march for England’. This was apparently a celebration for St George’s Day, but the 1000 Brighton-ites who turned out to protest against the march saw it as an anti-immigration, racist front for the EDL (English Defence League).

A strong police presence in riot gear and with officers on horseback guided the march from Brighton Station to the centre of town.

Here is a short montage of the day told by the people who were there…….

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In Brighton Mondays: Ros Barber and The Marlowe Papers

pod1Ros Barber’s novel, The Marlowe Papers, follows the young spy and playwright, Christopher Marlowe, who has had to fake his own death to escape the justice of enemies of the state. He has escaped to Italy and from his exile continues to write plays published in the name of a businessman from Stratford-On-Avon called William Shakespeare. We talk about the novel, and whether there really is any basis to the idea that someone other than Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare.




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boltDuring 2013 I’ve been playing with soundscapes. In January, my one-minute documentary Less a bolt of lightning, than the lightning of Bolt came Highly Commended in First Spark Radio‘s one-minute documentary competition. Subsequently I made a longer soundscape on The March for England, also available to hear at Podomatic.

In March 2013 I was commissioned by Octopus Collective to produce an hour-long soundscape about hitch-hiking, centring on my attempt to hitch-hike from Brighton to Barrow-in-Furness on my birthday. (I got as far as Banbury).

More soundscapes are undoubtedly on the way.

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Bite! Slam

biteslamIn Spring 2013 I was a ‘poet coach’ for the Bite! Youth Poets vs MCs slam. Been I while since I tried to ‘get down with the kids’ and quite frankly, my knees weren’t up to it. So I stayed upright and coached a very fine young poet to the final, where he successfully battled a bellyful of aspiring hiphop MCs.

It’s over a decade since the original Poets vs MCs idea was dreamt up between myself and the MCs Heinz and Brainiac (of Brighton’s long-running Slip Jam B hiphop night). The annual battle/slam (now taken over by Hammer and Tongue) outgrew venue after venue and now brings in a few hundred rowdy fans at the Concorde 2. It’s great how they always expect the poets to lose … and always end up cheering on the ‘underdogs’ until they win. The Bite! Youth Slam was no exception. Poets may not have freestyling, but they have a variety of other tricks up their sleeves. Not least being objects of pity.

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Howling At The Moon

howlingSometime between 2002 and 2004, I ran a night called ‘Howling At The Moon’, at the Full Moon pub in Boyces Street, Brighton. It was one of many Open Mic nights I’ve run over the years: an eclectic mix of spoken word, music and comedy, and random members of the audience getting up to play the spoons, perform the haka, demonstrate levitation, or anything else that took their fancy. A lot of fine performers tried out new work there: Simon Indelicate (before the Indelicates), Jo Neary (before the Perrier Award), Jonny Fluffypunk (before the moustache), Justin Coe (before the kids), Romany Diva of Magic (before the Magic Circle Stage Magician of The Year Award), the late lamented punk magician Great Shiraz (before an untimely death from methadone), MC Hines (before the beard), Ros Barber (before The Marlowe Papers), and Mark Chadwick (after The Levellers). Pre-dating social media, it hasn’t any kind of web presence, barring the occasional nostalgic mention, so I thought I’d mention it here, as the training ground of some very fine talent. It was also, incidentally, the birthplace of the now legendary annual MCs vs Poets Slam.

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Radio Reverb

Reverb-97blackSince 2008 I’ve been involved in producing and presenting shows, and helping to run, Brighton’s community radio station Radio Reverb.  As well as hosting my own weekly talk-based show, ‘In Brighton Mondays’, I train new presenters and organise studio bookings.

The show tends to focus on local issues, and my guests include politicians and campaigners, but I also chat to writers, musicians, artists… pretty much anyone who has something interesting to say.

If you’re in the Brighton area, that’s 97.2 FM, but you can stream it from anywhere in the world via the internet if you go here.

Alternatively, you can listen to podcasts of former shows.

If you’re based in Brighton, have a story to tell, a cause to promote, or some other good reason why you’d like to talk to the listener, get in touch.

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