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The Hive

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5 Belmont, Shrewsbury, SY1 1TE
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The 5th Sfl Poetry Slam 2021

In 2016 three poets held a meeting in a pub in Wolverhampton. They drank beer. They talked about poetry. They hatched plans. By the end of the evening, theyd decided that they should form a collective Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists -and see where that led them. In 2017, it led them to their first full-length show at the Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton. They had a lot of fun. The audience did, too.

The PPP collective have a few simple aims:

  1. Convince the world that poetry is a bag of awesome wrapped up with a bow of wonder.
  2. Convince the world to write some poetry.
  3. Convince some of the word to stand up and read that poetry in front of an audience.
  4. Promote and encourage acts.
  5. Particularly ones from the Black Country.
  6. Provide platforms for people to watch and perform poetry.
  7. Have fun!

Fun is definitely what happens at the SFL Poetry Slam! Come along and watch 15 fabulous poets give amazing performances and help decide who wins the prize of a performance spot at Shrewsbury Festival of Literature 2022!

Sat 27 Nov

£11 (Children £6.60)

The Bar-steward Sons of Val Doonican

Alt blues-rockers.

Sat 26 Mar

Sold out

The Ghost In The Garden: In Search Of Darwin's Lost Garden

The forgotten garden that inspired Charles Darwin becomes the modern-day setting for an exploration of memory, family, and the legacy of genius. Darwin never stopped thinking about the garden at his childhood home, The Mount, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. It was here, under the tutelage of his green-fingered mother and sisters, that he first examined the reproductive life of flowers, collected birds' eggs, and began the experiments that would lead to his theory of evolution.

A century and a half later, with one small child in tow and another on the way, Jude Piesse finds herself living next door to this secret garden. Two acres of the original site remain, now resplendent with overgrown ashes, sycamores, and hollies. The carefully tended beds and circular flower garden are buried under suburban housing; the hothouses where the Darwins and their skilful gardeners grew pineapples are long gone.

Walking the pathways with her new baby, Piesse starts to discover what impact the garden and the people who tended it had on Darwin's work. Blending biography, nature writing, and memoir, The Ghost in the Garden traces the origins of the theory of evolution and uncovers the lost histories that inspired it, ultimately evoking the interconnectedness of all things.

Sun 28 Nov

£11 (Children £6.60)

Highflyers Youth Dance

Highflyers Youth Dance Company

Inclusive dance workshops for all abilities

Highflyers is for young people aged 11 - 18 years and their siblings. Our workshops are accessible for young people who are disabled and non-disabled. Everyone is welcome.

Do you love to move, dance, play, explore, express your creativity and have fun? Come and give it a go and make new friends.

Sun 7 Nov


Sun 21 Nov


Sun 5 Dec


The Importance Of Being Interested: Adventures In Scientific Curiosity - Robin Ince

Robin Ince is many things…a comedian, a writer, a broadcaster and a champion of scientific ideas. The Guardian once dubbed him a 'becardiganed polymath' which seems about right. He is probably best known as the co-host of the Sony Gold Award winning BBC Radio 4 series The Infinite Monkey Cage with Professor Brian Cox.

The Importance of Being Interested is Robin's latest book and he will be joining us at Shrewsbury Festival of Literature 2021 to talk about why scientific wonder isn't just for the professionals.

Filled with interviews featuring astronauts, comedians, teachers, quantum physicists, neuroscientists and more, as well as charting Robin's own journey with science, The Importance of Being Interested explores why many wrongly think of the discipline as distant and difficult. From the glorious appeal of the stars above to why scientific curiosity can encourage much needed intellectual humility, this optimistic and profound book will leave you filled with a thirst for intellectual adventure.

Fri 26 Nov

£13.20 (Children £8.80)

The Long Field: Wales And The Presence Of Absence

The Long Field burrows deep into the Welsh countryside to tell how this small country became a big part of an American writer's life. Petro, author of Travels in an Old Tongue, twines her story around that of Wales by viewing both through the lens of hiraeth, a quintessential Welsh word famously hard to translate. It literally means "long field," but is also more than the English approximation of "homesickness." It's a name for the bone-deep longing felt for someone or something–a home, culture, language, a younger self–that you've lost or left behind.

Hiraeth is embodied by Arthur, King of the Once and Future, but never the Present. It is, above all, an acknowledgement of the presence of absence in our lives. The Long Field braids the hiraeth Petro has experienced personally–as an American who pines for Wales; as a gay woman in a same-sex relationship; as the survivor of a horrific train crash; as the daughter of a parent with dementia–into the essential hiraeth stories of Wales.

Along the way Petro looks at hiraeth in traditional and radically new ways: queer hiraeth, the hiraeth of technology, ancestry, minorities, the environment, and politics in the age of Brexit and Trump. Petro's hiraeth is not only an awareness of loss and longing but also a creative response to absence and loss, which she sees as the genius of Welsh culture and the wellspring of all creativity.

Sun 28 Nov

£11 (Children £6.60)

On The Cusp: Days Of '62

From one of our most celebrated historians comes a snapshot of 1962…a fascinating period of transition in Modern British history.

The 'real' Sixties began on October 5th, 1962. On that remarkable Friday, the Beatles hit the world with their first single, Love Me Do, and the first James Bond film, Dr No, had its premiere in London: two icons of the future heralding a social and cultural revolution.

On The Cusp, continuing David Kynaston's groundbreaking history of post-war Britain, takes place during the summer and early autumn of 1962, in the charged months leading up to the moment that a country changed. The Rolling Stones' debut at the Marquee Club, the last Gentleman versus Players match at Lord's, the issue of Britain's relationship with Europe starting to divide the country, Telstar the satellite beaming live TV pictures across the world, 'Telstar' the record a siren call to a techno future - these months were thick with incident, all woven together here with an array of fresh contemporary sources, including diarists both famous and obscure.

Britain would never be the same again after these months. Sometimes indignant, sometimes admiring, always empathetic, On the Cusp evokes a world of seaside holidays, of church fetes, of Steptoe and Son - a world still of seemingly settled social and economic certainties, but in fact on the edge of fundamental change.

Sat 27 Nov

£13.20 (Children £8.80)

Poetry Cafe & Open Mic

Jean is a poet, writer and experienced educator, based in Shropshire. She has worked on a variety of residencies in both England and Scotland and provides workshops and readings to schools, festivals and community and national organisations. She often works in collaboration with arts and community projects She's just been Poet in Residence for Wem Town Hall, and is also Poet in Residence for Hargate Primary School in West Bromwich. In 2020, because of the pandemic, Jean created The Poetry Wire, a website for sharing work within a small closed group for whom she writes regular prompts, and provides detailed feedback. Once a week this group meets for a social read-around on Zoom. The Poetry Wire has now run six sold-out courses with more planned for 2021. Jean has really enjoyed this way of working, and has met so many warm and talented poets.

Colin writes articles for magazines, and scripts for comedians and business speakers, including himself, and has worked at the BBC, Granada Television, The Other Place@The RSC, Disneyland Europe, ICC, NEC and many other locations worldwide.

Colin has a First-Class Honours in English Language, Literature and Creative Writing. He writes and performs often about topical subjects. He's a regular performer at open mics, festivals and clubs, and is a multiple poetry slam finalist and winner.

Gerald Kells is a poet and writer based in Walsall. He reads his poetry across the Midlands and the Internet. He has won several poetry slams and featured at the Freeverse Festival in Brownhills. He has had a number of poems and stories published in anthologies and magazines, most recently haikus in several editions of Seashores and stories and poems in Geography is Irrelevant a lockdown collection. He has self-published a short collection: LI - 51 Poems.

In 2018 he helped organise an Arts Poetry Reading at the internationally renowned Walsall Art Gallery and was involved in 2019 in the PoArtry Project in Stourbridge which led to publishing an Ekphrastic collection, Nine Etchings with artist, Fran Wilde. His story, Something to his Left, was published in Twisted Little Sister and Stone Walls in Coffin Bell 3. His young adult novel, The Net Mender's Son, is available as an e-book and his novel The Floating Child was long-listed for Cornerstones Wowfactor award.

Sun 28 Nov

£11 (Children £6.60)

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