Since it's establishment in December 1995, alongside running a monthly live-writing cabaret, Spotlight has undertaken a number of projects, workshop events, collaborations and promotions.


On Friday 17th April 2009, at what was to be our 154th and final gig
 at The Yorkshire House before moving to our new venue at
The Storey, we asked the audience for their memories of Spotlight events. Below are a few of their responses:

 

Audience Memories

* 'Spotlight at The Yorkshire House - possibly the best
    performance venue in the North West - atmospheric,
 
   cool, inclusive, great beer, open - open-minded -
    open-ended - open to offers. Great slam venue -
    happy memories of coming 3rd in the slam one
    year. First ever paid gig here. Definitely the best
    sound system on the NW circuit. Light touch
    management from Ron & Sarah, very assured, very
    professional. A great venue for the novice or the
    professional - sorry to see it move.'

* 'I thought I attended the first Spotlight then John
   Freeman told me I did! I was on the stage, it was a
   balloon debate. Sarah & Ron asked me back.
   Sometimes I was shite.
Sarah & Ron asked me back.
   My artistic indulgences disturbed people.
Sarah & Ron
   asked me back. Then I found my voice.
Sarah & Ron
   asked me back. Now I have the confidence to write
   proper shite and it doesn't frighten the audience!'

* 'Simon Baker saying 'Christ's cock' in front of a room
    full of people -
I also have a vague recollection of a
    stepladder, jug, bowl and a promptly smashed violin.
    I still have the bridge and part of the neck in my
    drumstick bag!'

* 'First time at Spotlight, wandering aimlessly, I was
    mistaken for a performer. 'No,' I said. 'But you do
    write,'
she said, seeing into my soul. 'Err... Well,
    sort of...'
Two months later I was pushed into the
    Open Mic. Another two and they actually paid me to
    appear. Still mistaken for a performer? Perhaps, but
    thanks for being kind Spotlight people.'

* 'Ian Marchant demanding that a young man peeled
    the nicotine patch off his bare chest with his teeth -
    The first night I heard Alan Swift's laugh - Needing
    alcohol to get through some of the acts!'

* 'The acceptance of acts on stage by the audience and
    almost no hecklers! - A lot of worthiness and purity.'

* 'Playing in front of a literal crowd - I got up and did
    it! How amazing is that?!'

* 'Performing to entranced, sometimes mystified
    audiences - The encouragement from the
    organisers - Being amazed by some of the local
    talent that comes and goes in 15 minutes of fame -
    The vindication of coming 3rd in a Spotlight Slam.'

* 'Katlama from Birmingham playing and people still
    dancing to their music until nearly midnight - much
    to the chagrin of the bar staff who were vainly trying
    to evict everyone. - The Balloon Debate with Ron
    starring as 'God The Omnipotent' and Pascal as an
    angel.'

* 'The steamy room. Condensation coursing down the
    walls. Words and breath pouring out. Wave upon
    wave of thundering crashing curling receding
    floating away on a sea of sound...'

* 'I had never recited my poems in public before. In
    late 2001 I performed at a Slam and I have been
    strutting my stuff ever since. Long may it continue!'

 

In May 2009 Spotlight moved into a new phase, a new home, and a new era, but here in the archive you can look back over the first
13 years and more.