Sundown @ Essex Writers House for Essex Book Festival

Throughout the month of MARCHSundown Arts Skydiver the folk over at Metal will be turning their Grade II listed Chalkwell Hall into a pop-up Essex Writers House as part of Essex Book Festival.  Activities, events, open mic opportunities, tutorials, hot desking, you name it writers.  We have kindly been asked to host a Sundown event as part of this fantastic month.  We are honoured and excited to be part of this as we love writing and we love enthusing about words, so thank-you Metal.  We can’t wait to see how the house gradually unfolds into a writer’s dream.

After much thought we’ve decided to put on a night called I Am Looking For Words where we celebrate performance poetry, featuring some of the UK’s most original and inspiring spoken word artists working and creating today.  We will also feature local performance poetry talent.  At Sundown we have always felt passionate about giving homegrown artists a chance to perform alongside national artists, we try to make sure the choice of line-up compliment each other as well as entertain.  The evening will be hosted by Jo Overfield & Ray Morgan, your Sundown producers who are writers / performers themselves.  We’re big fans of music and we can never organise an event without music being involved in some way, so there will be your pick of Southend DJs playing records with a spoken word theme.


We’ll have Junkshop Jukebox and Library of Aethers, both from the Ship Full of Bombs school of DJs.  Headlining our after-show spoken word party will be Michael Webster, he of BAIT, Asylums and Cool Thing Records fame.

So far we have the exceptional Matt Abbott, from Sheffield, who started out in the spoken word world from an early successful songwriting partnership – his poems set against music, signed to Universal, radio play, festival appearances, sell-out shows, before Matt returned to solo performance poetry gigging.  Matt went on to impress at the Edinburgh Festival with his sell-out on-man poetry show in 2015.  You may have seen him performing his work on TV when Nationwide profiled a handful of young performance poets for their ad campaign.  Matt is constantly working and creating, if it isn’t with the poetry collective he formed, it’s when he’s touring his latest show or working in education.  Matt is a proud activist and has worked with many worthy organisations.  As soon as we saw and heard Matt’s work we wanted to get him involved with a Sundown.  Can’t wait to have him involved.

We also have the hugely talented Molly Naylor.  Molly’s a scriptwriter, poet and performer based in Norwich.  She is co-director of a live storytelling show and community storytelling project.  She is the co-writer and creator of Sky One sitcom After Hours.  Molly wrote and performed the autobiographical show Whenever I Get Blown Up I Think Of You which was adapted for BBC Radio 4.  Other past work includes live shows, a short film, her debut poetry collection as well as educational workshops and creative projects with fellow collaborators.  Molly is currently writing a Creative England/BFI-funded feature film, and a full-length stage play called Lights! Planets! People! which has been commissioned by Warwick Arts Centre, Norwich Arts Centre and Nuffield Theatres Southampton.  We were lucky enough to have Molly Naylor perform at one of our Sundown events in the past, as part of the Poetry Link live literature tours we were involved in with Writers Centre Norwich.  This was way back in our Royal Hotel ballroom days and we’ve been wanting to get Molly back for a Sundown for years!

We are over the moon to welcome back the brilliant Rachel Pantechnicon.  A surreal, witty, clever, bit of a blimmin’ genius person if you ask me.  Which you didn’t but man, if you’ve never seen Rachel live then you NEED to.  Sue Perkins says she was “weeing herself” when she saw her.  Josie Long is another fan.  As well as being a fantastic performer, Rachel is the author of many children’s story books including Cheesegrater Leg-Iron Lion.  Rachel has performed at many Sundown events over the years, she is a mentor to us and a great friend.  Such an important influence on us and in our lives.

The date for all this?  FRIDAY 16TH MARCH, 7:30pm, tickets £5 (in advance) or £6 on the door

Tickets available here

This is going to be a brilliant event full of exciting writers and performers, you will not want to miss this!  Come & celebrate our UK talent with us and have a great night in the process.  All proceeds go towards sustaining Sundown Arts and keeping it alive.  You will be supporting your local arts community as well as having a blimmin’ beaut night out.