Festival Hot Seat: Bang Said the Gun

Festival Hot Seat, Interviews

Bang Said the Gun calls themselves poetry for people who don't like poetry. Co-founder, Dan Cockrill, is here to tell us why. 

Firstly, can you introduce your show and tell us what it is about?
BANG! Said The Gun is a poetry event for people who don’t necessarily like poetry. We take the best Spoken Word poets around and smash them together with entertainment to create a raw and raucous rollercoaster ride of emotions. It’s loud, political, trivial, serious and very funny. It will make you laugh out loud and cry tears of wonderment.

How and where will the work be staged?
We will be at St Georges Church on St Georges Road on SATURDAY 19TH MAY. Show kicks off at 7.30pm. One stage, one mic, Soul music, hand made shakers, balloons and animations. (And that is just the first 5 minutes of the show.)

Why should someone come and see your show?
To have their belief in humanity and the human experience restored. Or just to a have a good time.

Where did the idea and inspiration come from?
BANG! Said The Gun was started by Martin Galton and Daniel Cockrill 20 years ago as an antidote to dreary poetry and even drearier poetry nights. They wanted it to be a night that everyone could enjoy whether you liked poetry or not. The other members of the group, Rob Auton and Laurie Bolger, have added their ideas and charm to the mix to create a real Rock n Roll poetry show.

Why do you think it’s an important story to tell?
I think people want to be alive and enjoy being alive. Everyday life can sometimes make that a difficult thing to achieve. So we created a space where people can shake away some of the dust, have a great time in the process and maybe learn something new along the way.

What sort of person is going to love this show?
People who DON’T like poetry will love this show. People who DO like poetry will also love this show. That is pretty much everyone.

What’s going to surprise people about this show?
If you have never encountered a BANG! Said The Gun show you will be surprised by the raw energy and noise produced. If you have never experienced live poetry you will be surprised by just how moving words can be. A little bit of truth can be an amazing thing when you are bombarded and confronted by dishonesty and fake news on a daily basis. They will also be surprised by how much fun they will have. It’s a joyous show to be part of.

What does Brighton Festival mean to you? 
Bang performed at the Festival last year to a packed crowd. We had such a great time we thought we’d do it all again this year. I studied at Brighton University in the mid nineties, so it was great coming back to see faces I hadn’t seen for years.

Meeting all the festival staff was great too. We had a right good giggle with all the tech team and festival liaisons. We were looked after tremendously by all the locals and festival team.

What are you most looking forward to in this year’s Brighton Festival programme?
I’m going to give a shout out to some of BANG’s friends, many of them have appeared on the BANG stage over the years. Jemima Foxtrot and Cecilia Knapp are appearing in a play called Rear View, which I believe takes place on a bus. 

Our good friends Hollie McNish, Bridget Minamore, Toby Campion & Theresa Lola have teamed up with some Illustrators for some live poetry and drawing which sounds like great fun. Yomi Sode has his one man show Coat at the festival. And if you have never seen Lemn Sissay perform then I would definitely go see him. I love all of those guys, so any of those shows will be a treat. 

Head to our event page to find out more about ticket availability.