Live at the Quarry: Spokeasy


The Old Town Quarry

From £5 (within group booking)

SPOKEASY, features the wonderful, powerful poetry of the four award-winning Severnside poets in The Spoke – Abeer Ameer, Elizabeth Parker, Bob Walton and Claire Williamson – and solo sets from Weston’s very own top-notch singer-songwriter, Mark Ely, frontman for fabulous rock-soul band, Eastertown.

Be whisked away to other worlds in the company of your MCs Sue Hill and Charlie Hill in a memorable evening of beautiful words and imagination brought alive in the magical atmosphere of the Old Town Quarry. And following in the tradition of Theatre Orchard’s regular ‘Speakeasy’ poetry sessions, there will be a chance for local poets to perform their own poems in an open mic spot – contact for details.

Formed in Weston in 2012, The Spoke is a collective of four Severnside poets – Abeer Ameer, Elizabeth Parker, Bob Walton and Claire Williamson –  who support each other’s writing through workshops and collaborate in high quality readings. Their powerful, carefully-crafted poetry explores themes of people and places; family, nature, mythology; landscape, lovers, and more; in four distinct, memorable voices of celebration and elegy. Individually and as a group, The Spoke have performed in events and festivals across the UK and have all had acclaimed collections published by leading poetry publisher, Seren Books.

Abeer Ameer was born in Sunderland and grew up in Cardiff. She trained as a dentist in London, completed her Membership of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons in Edinburgh and has an MSc in Dentistry from Cardiff University. Abeer’s poems have appeared widely in journals including Acumen, Poetry Wales, Magma, Red Poets, Prole, The High Window, Atrium and The Rialto. Her poem, ‘The Reed Flute and I’, was commended in the Troubadour Poetry Prize 2020. Her debut collection Inhale/Exile – in which she shares stories of her Iraqi forebears – was published by Seren earlier this year.

Elizabeth Parker was born in London and grew up in a garden centre in The Forest of Dean. She achieved First Class Honours in English and Creative Writing at Warwick University and an MA in Mythology from Bristol University. After working as an English teacher for eight years in North Somerset, she now writes full-time. Her poetry has been published in many journals including Magma, Stony Thursday, The Interpreter’s House and Agenda. Elizabeth was a prize-winner in the 2016 Troubadour International Poetry Prize. Following her 2016 pamphlet, Antinopolis, her first full collection, In Her Shambles, was published by Seren.

Claire Williamson’s latest poetry collection is Visiting the Minotaur (Seren), which was a National Poetry Day recommendation for book groups. Her collaboration with composer Mark Lawrence, Home by Christmas, was nominated for the British Composer Awards 2015. Claire’s doctoral research explores ‘Writing the 21st Century Grief novel’, for which she has written a novel The Scarab Bookshop and a critical thesis, drawing on Arthur W. Frank’s The Wounded Storyteller. Claire mentors writers of all kinds and supports people with therapeutic writing and creative coaching in groups and 1-1. She lives on the English/Welsh border, with her two daughters and a borderline border-collie.

Born and brought up in Cardiff, Bob Walton has lived in Bristol for decades. He was Head of English at Worle School for 6 years and now teaches creative writing at Cardiff University where he gained his PhD in 2017. His second collection, Sax Burglar Blues, was shortlisted for Wales Arts Review’s ‘Best Book from Wales in 2018’. He won the North American Festival of Wales Poetry Prize 2020 and was commended in the Troubadour Poetry Prize 2020. He has been involved with Theatre Orchard since it was established and currently facilitates Weston-based Chapter 1 Creative Writing group with Sue Hill.

Age guidance: 16+. May contain some explicit language/adult references

NB: Tickets are all bookable in advance and there will be no on door sales at individual performances.

NHS workers! We are offering a complimentary table to a group of six, allocated on a first come, first served basis. The main booker will be asked to show NHS verification and photo ID on entry to event. To book this table, click here.


LIVE AT THE QUARRY: 1-17 July 2021

Old Town Quarry, South Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 2LS  

Lose yourself in music, comedy, cabaret, theatre, dance, spoken word and stunning surroundings….

Live at the Quarry is an exciting new socially distanced event, presented by Culture Weston and Theatre Orchard, featuring collaborations with The Brit Bar and Loves Cafe.

A series of shows will take place under canvas in a performance stretch tent with socially spaced table and bench seating.

The event is made possible through Arts Council England by the Culture Recovery Fund, which enables Theatre Orchard to showcase a celebratory programme of affordable acts as audiences are welcomed back to outdoor arts, in the magical, hidden setting of Weston’s historic Old Town Quarry.

Doors open 30 minutes ahead of performance time. There will be a locally-stocked bar operating in the evening, serving a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and tasty snacks. ID will be required for the purchase of alcohol, no person under the age of 18 will be served alcohol.

Tickets are sold in tables of up to 6 people, with a choice of bench on arrival and a bar providing table service. Some performances will offer NHS workers the chance to get a complimentary table for 6 – see individual show listings for info.

Made possible by

Weston, speakeasy, Culture Recovery Fund, Culture Weston, Live at the Quarry, spoken word,