“Expect a cosy wordy huddle.” That's how the event was advertised and that 's exactly what I got. The Criterion (a cosy, wordy pub) hosts Pinggg…K! monthly, and I met a welcoming group of people who had some of the most clever and amusing stories to share.
The evening began with a Poetry Circle around the long table. It felt like a pitch perfect rap battle without the competition – poems bounced off each other with ease, and the words flew from the page rather than the stage.
After some (much appreciated) snacks, the event did move to the stage. The penny dropped when they served us PINK CAKE (say pinggg...K! out loud) before the open mic. It was eye-opening. (And mouth-watering too. The cake was great, and I had seconds. No shame.)
There was: poetry in Mandarin; the eternal confusion of what a businessman actually does; a fable about genderless sea pickles; one man’s struggle to order a cheese and tomato pizza; conversations about prostitutes, colours, and the universe in our veins. This was a rainbow of ideas with a pot of validation on the other side. Everyone who performed was brilliant, but the star of the show was the guy who played this:
That wonderful instrument is an Erhu, or a Chinese two-stringed violin. I felt as if I were in a Narnian castle, instead of a cold pub in the middle of Leicester.
The feature for the night was Ishi Khan Jackson’s I’mMigrant sketch. Her stand up had the whole room in stitches as she spoke about being a Zambian-born Indian woman living in the UK (try saying that ten times fast), and her confusion towards her identity during Brexit. Follow her on Twitter (@ishi2funny) or check out 2funny.org.uk for updates about her tour.
So, if you live in Leicester, and want an encouraging and inclusive atmosphere to share prose and poetry, Pinggg…K! is definitely the place for you!