Inn Crowd: Acclaimed Writer Premiers Digital Poetry Film About Growing Up Gay in England

James McDermott, Norfolk born playwright, poet and associate artist at both Norwich Theatre Royal and Norwich Arts Centre, has collaborated with national project Inn Crowd to create a new performance poetry film that follows the experiences of a gay teenager coming of age during the nineties and noughties.

Manatomy will premiere for free online on Saturday 22nd May, and is a witty exploration of identity, politics, pop culture and place, and questions how lad culture shapes boys as they grow into men. Poems featured in Manatomy are taken from James McDermott’s poetry collection of the same name published by Burning Eye Books. The premiere will include a live Q&A with James, but the film will still be available to view free for two weeks after the premiere.

Speaking about the project, James said:

“I hope that the poems in the ‘Manatomy’ film entertain audiences and help them to better understand and reassess how they perceive queer experiences for young adults in rural East Anglian communities. I look forward to performing these poems in person when I tour ‘Manatomy’ to pubs across the county with Inn Crowd later this year”.

James has been one of Norfolk’s hugely successful home-grown writers over the last few years. As well as being a widely acclaimed poet and playwright, he also has ideas in development with various television production companies, and regularly teaches writing workshops at University of East Anglia and Norwich Theatre Royal.

This film is part of Inn Crowd’s ‘After Hours’ project, a new series of electrifying digital spoken-word pieces bringing new writing into people’s homes for free. Prior to the pandemic, Inn Crowd usually operates by bringing professional, high-quality live-literature inspired pieces to rural pubs. Arts organisations Creative Arts East and National Centre for Writing work with national partners Applause Rural Touring deliver the project countrywide. 

As well as James McDermott’s Manatomy, Radio 4 regular John Osborne will premiere his new show Supermarket Love Stories in June, and Byron Vincent’s Instagramming The Apocalypse aired online last month with great success.To catch the premiere of Manatomy on 22nd May at 8pm, or watch it at any time for two weeks after that date, visit www.inncrowd.org.uk.