Tag Archives: MBE

Review: Navy Knickers and Nicked TVs

Joan Ellis and Donna Jones MBE, aka ‘Them Two‘, shared 90 minutes of stories, poetry and performance pieces for a sell-out audience at the Winter Gardens during this year’s Ventnor Fringe festival on the Isle of Wight.

Donna Jones MBE
Donna Jones MBE

Donna, an accomplished wordsmith who had an illustrious career as a youth worker in the North-West of England, indulged attendees by traipsing around a slew of amusing subjects, including growing up with embarrassing parents (her Dad’s false teeth once scuppering the embryonic stages of a flirtatious liaison with a dishy waiter.)

Donna’s Mother (“the first feminist in Barnsley”) featured prominently in many of her anecdotes, heralded as a woman of great sass who retained the upper hand in her marriage.

Poems such as ‘The Miner’, ‘Blackpool Revisited’ and ’38DD’ were all delivered with requisite gusto from the lips of a bold performer who has been at the forefront of Isle of Wight spoken word and female rights issues for the past several years.

The two ladies intertwined their spirited but very different sets, an effective tool in keeping the show fresh throughout; each segment was kept brief by design, so the audience never had time to get too attached to one person’s material.

 

Joan Ellis spoke with great passion about her daughter, Sophie, who was present. Much of her material clearly derived from motherhood.

Joan navigated through various highlights of her career and personal life, displaying a penchant for storytelling – retrospectively musing on her time at the top end of the copy writing industry – as the voice of an animated dog amongst other things.

Joan and daughter Sophie
Joan and daughter Sophie

Highlights included an encounter she enjoyed with an aesthetically appealing young man in the 1990’s, whose contact details she was unable to pluck up the courage to take down. The next time she saw him was on television, as he turned out to be Neil Morrissey from Men Behaving Badly!

Switching back and forth again, Donna’s Buckingham Palace related material provided a shift of comedy gears, with every punchline hitting its intended target, most notably a deliciously disgusting description of one youngster as “the kind with hands down his trousers and offering you a crisp!”

Joan concluded the show with a captivating 8 minute monologue based on the death of Marilyn Monroe. It was crisply delivered, but could perhaps have been placed earlier in the afternoon to play out to a fully charged peanut gallery.

A well oiled show from two seasoned speakers, both of whom bounced off each other with great ease and organic chemistry, without it ever feeling overly rehearsed.


In a nutshell

+ A sell-out crowd aged anywhere from 12-72 were left feeling they’d had excellent value for their £6.50 ticket.

Donna Jones MBE’s website is available by clicking here.

Joan Ellis is live on Vectis Radio every Friday and Saturday from 1-2pm, click here for the link!

 

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Sound Bite – Isle of Wight ‘Inspirational Women’ group

Is the Isle of Wight’s Inspirational Women group another step towards segregation of the sexes, and are we allowed to ask? DxK and Mark Dickson discuss the pros and cons of a group like this.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Sound Bites – free gig tonight!

Isle of Wight residents are in for a treat tonight, with Bendula Bar hosting Sound Bites – a showcase for local spoken word and musical talent. The three-ish hour gig, which kicks off at 7.30pm, is part of Visit Isle of Wight‘s Acoustic Isle event, and the brainchild of Ryde based artist/poet/author/lovely lady Donna Jones MBE (See vid below.)

Who the funk is on the bill?

As well as the afore mentioned Ms Jones, there are a host of young poets from the Red Tie Theatre and Flip The Script, plus some of the local scene’s cutting edge musicians; artists whose arrival centre stage has ushered in new musical genres to define their stylings, stud muffins who make Syd Barrett look like a monk.

The Ventnor Darlings are one such band, they’re definitely from Ventnor, but are they darlings? My lips are sealed.

The Ventnor Darlings: The John and Yoko of the IoW (bed not pictured)
The Ventnor Darlings: The John and Yoko of the IoW (bed not pictured)

Admission is free and food and drink are available, so all of your basic survival needs are covered, and you don’t even have to spend any of your hard earned coin, just sneak off to the toilets and drink water straight from the taps if you get dehydrated, and smuggle in a Fruesli Bar for the interval.

Seriously though, get involved. Nights like this deserve a packed venue, those performing are doing it for the love of their art, and not monetary gain… and you can always catch up with Eastenders on the iPlayer later!

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Interviews with Creative Minds – No.6: Donna Jones MBE

Artist, entrepreneur, poet, fashionista, charitable Tour de Force and dog lover –  Donna Jones MBE is widely recognised as an integral branch of the Isle of Wight’s creative revolution.

That’s all well and good, but facing a grilling from DxK is another matter; how did one of the Isle of Wight’s premier prose practitioners fare in conversation with the gloriously coiffured stud muffin? And, more importantly, did a sweet pooch named Scoot’s snoring scupper the tranquility of the occasion? Listen and find out!

 

To get in contact with Donna either follow her Twitter, message her on Facebook or send her an email.

*Special thanks to Jodie, Sam and Brad (aka Ba.Dow) for granting permission for Kureen to use the track ‘In The Name’ in the piece.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Featured artist: Donna Jones MBE

I first stumbled upon Donna Jones MBE when I was sent to review a spoken word event on which she was participating, with her gritty, cavalier and colourful vernacular instantly making an impression on all of those in attendance.

Osborne

It was some time later that I discovered the full extent of Donna’s contributions – here is an extraordinary woman who has enhanced the lives of hundreds of abused and poverty stricken individuals, devoted extensive kindness, time and finance to charitable causes and revealed herself to be a paradigm shifting artist to boot.

Having recently been accepted to join the Ryde Art Collective, Donna enjoys a peaceful existence on the Isle of Wight, whilst remaining keen to continue supporting young people. Donna’s artwork is vibrant and innovative and she has donated pieces to Quarr Abbey, Dimbola Lodge, the MS Society and local charity Friends of the Animals.

St Helens in orange

During 2013 Donna dedicated a huge chunk of her time to a specific charity, commenting that: “I wanted to collaborate with one charity and the Ellen MacArthur Trust, based in East Cowes, was the obvious option”. The charity supports youngsters with life limiting illnesses, allowing them to try sailing, often for the first time. The teamwork and close proximity with other young people gives them the chance to talk freely and acts as a form of therapy in a fun and exciting environment.

Having pledged to support 50 charities throughout 2014, Donna’s paintings and her fundraising events have become a regular feature of the local art scene. Many of the artist’s paintings are already on sale in ‘Three Buoys’ restaurant in Appley and grace the walls of all seven Pittis Estate Agents across the Isle of Wight.

Further details of how to contact the artist are listed below the gallery.

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To find out more about Donna take a peek at her Facebook or Twitter. To contact her directly email: jones291@btinternet.com .

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Max Lyrical at Ventnor Fringe

On Friday, 15th August, a collaboration of the finest talent from the Isle of Wight and beyond make their way to the south coast’s answer to Edinburgh’s esteemed Fringe Festival for the deliciously titled Max Lyrical.

Based in the seaside town of the same name, the Ventnor Fringe Festival has expanded substantially since its inception in 2010, with the woodland area (which hosts the show), a hauntingly captivating backdrop for the spoken word and music that will be on offer.

Here’s the low down on some of the acts that will be performing at Max Lyrical.


DJ Nipsy

– Plays throughout the night –

DJ Nipsy

“He’s unlike any other DJ I’ve heard” Sam Cox, a member of Putney’s RMS recording studios told me upon first stumbling upon ‘Nipsy’ during a fluke encounter after the 2013 Isle of Wight Festival.

After a short sabbatical, he returns at Max Lyrical, expect amazing beats throughout from the king of the deck-dub-math-pop-step genre!


Dylan Kulmayer

– Spoken Word/Rap: 20.10-20.30

Dylan Kulmayer

When I was 17 years of age my mindset frequently switched between subjects as taxing as how many spots I had and how harsh life was as I quaffed apathetically on Perrier water and smoked salmon.

At the same age, Dylan Kulmayer, aka DRK, has recently released his debut EP and, perhaps more tellingly, refuses to go near Perrier, content to slum it with Evian. His lyrics are also wise far beyond his years and his EP received the thumbs up from Kureen.co.uk


DxK

-Spoken Word: 20.30-20.45

Maxx Lyrical

If DxK following DRK isn’t confusing enough, this gem also goes by a slightly different version of the gig name, Maxx Lyrical, on special occasions (Bar mitzvahs, weddings etc.)

Infeasibly handsome and with an IQ of 239, the young stud from parts unknown would be Russell Brand’s meditation partner if ever the two crossed paths.


Ba.Dow

– Music: 20.45-21.10

Ba.Dow

Like a scene from the original Batman, Ba.Dow’s name crashes through the air each time it leaves somebody’s lips, rendering any surrounding pigeons temporarily incapacitated.

Having won the 2014 Bestival competition, this is the start of an exciting journey for a rich sounding band with virtually unlimited upside.


Unannounced act

– Rap/Spoken word 21.30-21.45

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‘Unannounced act’ often refers to a deep panic behind the scenes, as every prospective wordsmith or person owning a beret is urged to spout some words in front of an audience for a few minutes.

That’s far from the case here – Indeed, the organisers have booked… Um… Dave, no wait, DJ Petrolhead. Well, there is someone booked and he/she is bloody marvellous, even the Isle of Wight Country Pamphlet and Joppul Junior site would be impressed!

 

Donna Jones MBE

– Spoken Word: 21.45-22.00

 

Of all the MBE’s I’ve known Donna Jones is the finest. Her gritty, honest, colourful poetry should provide the ideal contrast to some of the potty mouthed shenanigans elsewhere.

A published poet, Donna offers a welcome change of tempo to the gig and brings decades of decadent rhetoric to the table.


Buddy Carson and Emmy J Mac

– Spoken Word/Music: 22.00-22.30

Buddy and Emmy
You can’t have a spoken word event without Buddy and Emmy. Well, you can, but it wouldn’t be anywhere near as good.

The headliners are the perfect blend of silky lyricism and ear trembling melodies. Anyone who hasn’t heard Emmy J Mac live and in living colour is in for a treat, her voice is one of the finest to emanate from these shores.

The gig promises to be a special one, get your buttocks over. At £8 for two tickets (2-4-1 deal with Ventnor Fringe) it’s an absolute bargain.

Do you know what else costs £8? Carrot Top’s new DVD – Carrot Top! So, if you don’t come along then you’re basically supporting the flame haired twerp by default.

To purchase tickets for the show either phone Ventnor Fringe on 0843 289 8718 or book via their website.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.