The Insulting Cabaret

So for the third year the hub produced the Insulting Cabaret for our friends at International Pen. This year our theme was Love and Hate.

Produced by hub associate Jenny Harris the evening featured an impressive mix of writers, musicians and poets all within the dynamic surroundings of the Southwark Playhouse. Our compere for the evening was Ross Sutherland . Click here to see him reading one of his poems from Things to do Before you Leave Town during technical set up.

Also featuring on the line up were Last Mango in Paris (seen here in sound check),, poet, musician and editor of the Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets Jeet Thayil, actress and writer Pauline Melville and poet and performer Zurab Rtveliashvili.

Music in the bar for the evening was provided by the love and hate DJ Phipps and Barnes . Their blog which includes a mix tape and play list is well worth checking out.

As part of the evening we asked members of the public and team members to read selections from well over 100 Mills and Boon books which we gave out to the audience at the end of the evening. You can catch Jason and Ruth’s readings in this short video here. . You can catch many more of the readings on our blip tv site here including readings by hub director Julia Payne & producer Jenny Harris and l

Contained within each Mills and Boon book was a book mark detailing the case of one of the writers being championed by International Pen – a reminder at the end of the evening that even thought the Insulting Cabaret is a lot of fun – the work of Pen continues to be very real and serious.

You can also catch some photographs from the evening of our love / hate survey here

As ever a long evening – but a very successful one!

Insulting Cabaret is produced by the hub ( for International Pen ( as part of Free the Word festival.


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