Monday, May 25, 2009

Chelsea Flower Show Poetry (2)

I'm finally catching up with everything which means I can at last write a few lines about my one-day poetry residency with BBC 2 at the Chelsea Flower Show last week.

I really enjoyed the whole experience in spite of it being quite high-pressured and compressed! I arrived at the Show mid-morning, whizzed around the gardens (there was already a bit of a poetry theme going on, with the QVC Garden, pictured above, containing engraved quotes from Keats and Tennyson), grabbed some lunch from the BBC catering van and then got to work on writing my minute-long performance piece in response to what I'd seen. I was then escorted to one of the show gardens to perform it to camera in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd (they'd seen all the tecchie people in BBC jackets and were probably hoping Alan Titchmarsh was due to arrive for some filming rather than me!)

Later, I went up on the terrace from which the 8 pm evening show is broadcast to speak with Alan T. and the other presenter, Joe Swift, and to perform the second, shorter poem that I'd been asked to write. Strangely enough, I felt quite relaxed at this point (or maybe I was just exhausted!). Since I'm more used to doing gigs in front of a live audience, the fact that there were just cameras watching made it much less edgy for me; it felt more like I was there for a friendly chat!

You can watch the result for one week only on the BBC's Listen Again facility (I'm on about two-thirds of the way through and then again right at the end). I feel so lucky to have had this experience and it's certainly whetted my appetite to do more TV work, should I ever have the chance.

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At May 25, 2009 at 3:11 PM , Blogger Mistlethrush said...

I thought you came across as friendly, modest yet quietly confident - an excellent representative for the rest of us. Thank you.

I've been watching Chelsea each evening and your poems summed up the atmosphere really well - a remarkable achievement in such a short space of time.

At May 25, 2009 at 3:37 PM , Blogger SueG said...

You were brilliant. I was so excited for you!

At May 25, 2009 at 8:23 PM , Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Excellent, well done!

At May 26, 2009 at 2:48 PM , Blogger Russell said...

Great performance - I think that you should be BBC2 resident poet for all matters green and gardening.

At May 26, 2009 at 5:46 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

Huge applause from way down South x

At May 28, 2009 at 11:28 AM , Blogger Susan Richardson said...

Thanks so much, everyone, for watching and enjoying! The support is HUGELY appreciated!

At May 28, 2009 at 11:56 AM , Blogger Russell said...

I hope that we will have plenty of opportunities to watch you on TV in the next 12 months


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