It was a Saturday, a Saturday unlike any other.  A Saturday where bleary-eyed North-Easteners were making their weary way to ARC, Stockton instead of sleeping in until some unearthly hour.  A Saturday where, unbeknown to the world around them, teams of young poets, teachers, support workers, poet coaches and shadows were gathering for what was to be one of the best days of their lives.  In short, this was Saturday 16 June 2011, aka Shake the Dust North East Regional Final Saturday.  And what a Saturday it was!

With a warm welcome upon arrival, registration, workshops, rehearsals, and performances, the day was packed full of fun and fascinating tasks.

The five teams taking part were:

The PTO from A Way Out, Stockton

Scrambled Eggs from Egglescliffe School, Teesside

The 8 Team from Greenfield Community College, Newton Aycliffe

The Slamming Saints from Our Lady and St Bede’s R C School, Stockton

Remote Clicks/Today’s Special from St John’s School & Sixth Form College in Bishop Auckland.

Spirits remained high throughout the day and into the evening and by the time the Slam came around the atmosphere was electric.  Simma was the MC for the event.  Kate Fox, Poet Coach and Sacraficial Lamb (winner of the poet coach/shadow slam earlier that afternoon) warmed up the audience and the judges with her smile and her words and we had special guest performances from Joe Hakim and Maxwell Golden.

All ten performances by the slam teams were exceptional and after some tough deliberating by judges Degna Stone, Charlotte Higgins and Joe Hakim, the awards were given as follows:

Most Striking Line went to The 8 Team

Best Stage Presence went to Scrambled Eggs

Most Effective/Strongest Message went to PTO

Most Striking Individual Technique went to St John’s

and the team awarded the most points and the team going to London to represent our area at the national finals were

The Slamming Saints.

Well done to all of the teams involved including the slammers, teachers, support workers, coaches, shadows and everyone else involved in the entire process from start to finish.  I am delighted to have been a part of the whole process and look forward to future projects.  Here  are some photographs from the day:

Sugar Rations
Rehearsals, St John’s

Amy, Poet Shadow
Andy, Poet Coach
Steve, Poet Shadow