What a fantastic festival we have had this year! It’s hard to believe that after thirty-six outstanding events throughout May, we have now come to the end of WoWFest 2014. Here at the Writing on the Wall office, we have been sharing some of our favourite memories of the festival. ShellShock couldn't have been launched in a more magnificent way as we commemorated the centenary of the First World War by inviting school children to the Bluecoat and then released ten white doves into the sky in call for peace.
It’s safe to say we were all equally charmed by Phill Jupitus and Tim Wells during a night of ping-pong poetry with some classic titles such as ‘The Horror of Your Daughter’s New Boyfriend Turning Up Wearing Green Suede Cuban Heels.’ We were taught some essential life lessons by Funny Girl, Liz Carr during a night of comedy when she showed us how to do the ‘ugly smile’ which she reserves especially for anyone who could be considered a bit of an ignoramus. In true WoW fashion, the festival was filled with debate and discussion and offered a platform for our audiences to express their views. At times we where edged into fierce debate, particuarly when Owen Jones took to the stage in a rebel rant to protest against austerity and the oppression of the working class. Seumas Milne remembered the Miner’s Strike during this 30th anniversary year and Danny Morrison, Kevin Higgins and Tim Brannigan debated the shifts in Irish politics.
There were moments when we where moved, most clearly when Janet Alder told us the heart-breaking story of how her brother Christopher was unlawfully killed in police custody, leading to a well deserved standing ovation from the audience. We proudly showcased the work achieved so far on The George Garrett Archive Project with the debut of the fantastic installation designed by JMU students as well as the archive displayed at Central Library. We were treated to a brilliant rehearsed reading of George Garrett’s first play Two Tides at the Unity Theatre bagging an impressive four star review after only two day’s rehearsal! And of course, we celebrated the work of our own very talented Young Writer’s from Word Up on Light Night on the roof top of Central Library with some brilliant performances from the group accompanied by a great DJ set from DJ Vinny which brought a cool, New York City vibe to Liverpool.
We'd like to congratulate our competition winners. This year's Flash Fiction winner is Z O'Brien and runners up Kenneth John Perry & Karl A Russell, also Pulp Idol winner, Craig Whittle and runner up, Rob Knipe. Look out for all their published work in 'Pulp Idol Firsts' later this year. Thank you to our fantastic judges Tom Witcomb, Alex Christofi and Caroline Smailes and all our finalists.
That’s only a small glimpse into the exciting month we’ve just had. Every year the festival grows in ambition and reach. What can we say, except we can’t wait for WoWFest 2015!
Special thanks to everyone who came along to our events and supported us throughout! Thank you to all our amazing WoW volunteers, Abi, Anne, Barbara, Fraz, Carol, Heidi, Jane, Joanne, Kate, Liam, Natalie, Pam plus Alex Price and Abi Inglis who worked on the Make Doves Not War project and Pulp Idol.
And many thanks to our sponsors including Liverpool City Council, Arts Council England, The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.