Insulting Cabaret – behinds the scenes action; poet Ross Sutherland plus public readings of Mills & Boon

Back for a stonking third year , the hub produced the Insulting Cabaret for our friends at International Pen. The theme for this year’s outing at the Southwark Playhouse was ‘love and hate’ and the evening featured an impressive mix of writers, musicians and poets.

Our compere for the evening was the fantastic poet Ross Sutherland . Click here to see him escape our tech run through to give us a sneaky reading of one of his poems from his Things to do Before you Leave Town collection.

Also featuring in the line up were Last Mango in Paris (seen here in sound check),, poet, musician and editor of the Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poets Jeet Thayil, actress and writer Pauline Melville and poet and performer Zurab Rtveliashvili.

Music in the bar for the evening was provided by the love and hate DJs Jason Phipps and Ruth Barnes. Their blog which includes a mix tape and play list is well worth checking out.

As part of the evening we asked members of the public and team members to read selections from well over 100 Mills and Boon books which we gave out to the audience at the end of the evening. You can catch Jason and Ruth’s readings in this short video here. . You can catch many more of the readings on our blip tv site here including readings by hub director Julia Payne &amp, and hub producers Jenny Harris and Matthew Linley. Contained within each Mills and Boon book was a book mark detailing the case of one of the writers being championed by International Pen, an ‘on the tube home’ reminder that even thought the Insulting Cabaret is a lot of fun the work of Pen continues to be very real and important.

You can also catch some photographs from the evening of our love / hate survey here

As ever a long evening – but a very successful one!

Insulting Cabaret was produced by the hub ( for International Pen ( as part of Free the Word festival.