Never before have I seen such an assortment of talent in such an informal setting. Yes the Ink Festival in May 2011 was my first experience of this kind. I have performed poetry before but Ink Festival was unlike anything I had ever expected. It took place across four nights. Following was the schedule:

May 5th - Comedy Night
May 6th - Scratch Night
May 7th - Scratch Night
May 8th - Music Night

Of these, I had the priviledge of attending the first 3 nights. Couldn't go for the fourth because I was too exhausted. I cannot even imagine the amount of stress the organisers would have gone through to organise this festival. I met two of them, Becci and Rachel, and I am sure there are many others behind the scene who made this excellent show possible.

I was all excited to attend the comedy night for two main reasons:

1) This was the first one that I would be attending
2) I was getting a 50% discount owing to the fact that I was to perform on the scratch nights

So even though the venue was far-off at The Corner House in Heaton, I hired a taxi right after my evening class and headed there. In my enthusiasm to get the most from the night, I chose the front-most seat, a decision I was to considerably regret and enjoy later because I was picked on by every single performer that night. I was propositioned, pretend-licked, scared out of my wits by the ugliest doll I have ever seen, all in one single night. All performers were amazing though there was a prevalance of toilet humour in some performances which I didn't really enjoy as much. The host was the brilliant Graham Oakes who was the star of the night along with the guy who was asked to extend his act at the last moment from 5 minutes to half-an-hour and did it brilliantly.

The Scratch Nights were held in a Cafe, known as The Blake's Cafe right in the middle of the town which wasn't such a good idea considering that it was a weekend and there was a game on at St. James Park and Newcastle United was playing in it! The compere for the first scratch night was Liam Frost and all performers were brilliant. My personal favorites were Shakirah Bourne's Rock-a-bye (the actor who performed this was brilliant) and Jonny Bussell's Nod of War (Absolutely Hilarious). I also liked the actor who played the Redundant God and the Intrusive fellow traveller in another play. The first night was unexpectedly quiet outside the Cafe. The only noise being that of the performers, compere, and generous applauses. I performed my poem "Drifting with the Tyne" and I think I did alright. Moreover, I had my friends in the audience and that mattered a lot. Here is a video that one of them recorded of me performing.