Thursday 8th July saw second of the Rochdale Fringe Festival events, in the lead up to the Rochdale Literature and ideas Festival, and the final Baum showcase performance from Norman Warwick.
|Norman Warwick in his farewell performance|
As I said in my introduction this was a man who needed no introduction; Norm has been a mainstay of the Rochdale arts scene especially through All Across The Arts, Just Poets and the Touchstones Creative Writing Group. There are many writers and artists who have gained so much from working with, being encouraged by and promoted by Norm through the wide range of events, workshops, newspaper column, radio show and his enthusiasm to offer advice, critique and do whatever he can to contribute.
Many of us turned out at the Baum to listen to Norm who was welcomed with a proper Rochdale Rapturous Round of applause and he certainly didn’t disappoint as the whole room laughed along as he told us of a first trip to the barbers, felt the love and hope as his miner dances with the goddess from ‘off the silver screen’ and were moved by his performance of “Lost in the fadeaway diamond time” telling us of the lost of his dear friend and songwriting superstar Townes Van Zandt.
With an open-mic style read around (see pics below) Norm and the audience were regaled poetry and prose from young and old with tales of life from the mundane to the fantastic (or perhaps ridiculous) with a range as varied, entertaining and powerful as we’ve come to expect at this venue. Great stuff!
As Norm heads off to a sunnier retirement he is not likely to stop inspiring, entertaining and supporting artists and Rochdale’s loss will be Lanzarote’s gain.
Meanwhile it falls to those of us remaining to ensure that we continue to have a thriving, developing and welcoming arts scene in Rochdale into the future building on foundations to which Norm has contributes so much over the years.