We’ve still got bedbugs…

I’m back in London just in time to do my best to avoid the Olympics, and in the meantime I’ve been able to take part in a few exciting events. Last week I had the opportunity to perform my poem, ‘A Bedbug in Manhattan,’ which I wrote and performed for The Mustard Club’s Resonance FM Radio programme ‘The Gilded Vectors of Disease,’ based on the golden critters adorning the outside of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The LSHTM is displaying a free 2012 Showcase Exhibition, highlighting some of the exciting work they’ve done over the past year. Rebecca Tremain, who arranged and hosted the radio series, invited me back for a live reading, and I was backed up by the dulcet tones of singer Patricia Hammond and musicians Emily O’Hara and Simon Marsh.

We then proceeded to play with insect costumes.

The other exciting bit of news is that the guided walks, Sick City, which I’ve lent my voice to, is now live! The brains and voice behind the project is Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow Richard Barnett, who also played host to the ‘Bedbug’ programme above, at Rebecca’s invitation. Richard writes and presents live guided walks on the medical history of London, and he’s gone digital, putting them online in the form of a smartphone app, which is free to download. So, if you are in London, take yourself on a guided tour. If you aren’t, though, these are a delight to listen to anyway, for fascinating insight into what lies beneath the streets of London, in layers of time, history, and physical earth. Click on ‘conceived in gin‘ to hear one of the more challenging pieces I read for one of the walks – on the history of gin!


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