513 Brendan is the Black Country’s answer to beat poetry, bringing influences of rock and roll, industrial decline and his mother tongue into his work.  A top notch performance poet Brendan runs Poetry Wednesbury, and with the late Geoff Stevens was a mainstay of Purple Patch, the Langley group who met monthly at the Barlow.  He was one of the original Alternative Black Country Night Out performers.  His recent books include Urban Dawn and Slide.  Brendan’s work has also appeared in public arts projects including the new Morrison’s in Wednesbury. Exhibit B was published in 2010.





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Hard Graft (All for twenty three bob) – Brendan Hawthorne
In 1992, after reading a series of old newspaper articles found in - of all places - a skip, Brendan Hawthorne began to piece together the tragic story of poverty in Wednesbury suffered by the poor and unskilled working class. Their story leapt from the pages of faded ink and yellowing paper to become a vibrant record of adversity, struggle, hope and victory. “My first dedication is to those people who stood up to be recognised in 1913, taking on the might of local businesses to secure a more decent way of life and whose only ‘crime’ was being poor. The play itself follows the story as it unfolded in these newspaper articles but is not meant to be an accurate historical document. The characters are fictitious, representing what I believe to be an approximation of feeling at the time. Dates and places are referenced as well as certain people concerned in the recorded events of the strike. Any names or deeds in the imagined element, therefore, are purely coincidental. The play you see before you is slightly edited and modified from the original first draft script. It contains songs as they originally fell onto the page and played in my head and also two Acts that were cut for timing reasons when in production. The play itself was written, cast, rehearsed, directed and performed in under twelve months to a one-night sell-out audience in December 2013 at Wednesbury Town Hall.” Brendan Hawthorne
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Exhibit B- Brendan Hawthorne
Set in a virtual museum, Exhibit B explores facets of memory and fantasy and how remnants of those memories can be illuminating or disorientating to our well-being as they are inputted and stored upon a hard drive of sub-consciousness. It is written through the eyes of a seeker visiting influential halls of mirrors displayed on screen in temporary exhibition rooms before they are deleted or given a permanent space by the omni-present guide.
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