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Thursday 15th November 2018

Raise the Bar (Feat. Zena Edwards & Kat Francois)

— Arnolfini
We welcome UK spoken word royalty in Kat Francois and Zena Edwards! + More local talent to be announced.
price: Headfirst Tickets


This event will feature UK spoken word royalty as we welcome Kat Francois and Zena Edwards! + more local talent to be announced.

Raise the Bar has for the last 4 years been bringing the country and world’s finest spoken word performers to Bristol, as well as providing a talent development platform for emerging artists in the South-West.

Our resident DJ Ngaio (of Booty Bass) will be spinning an incredible selection of hip-hop, R&B, world music and UK underground.

@ngaioaniya @bootybassbristol





Kat Francois is a performance artist, poet, actor, playwright, director, and comedian. Kat was the first person to win a televised poetry slam in the UK, on BBC3 in 2004, and a year later went on to win the World Slam Poetry Championships in Rotterdam. As a playwright, Kat has written and performed two solo plays, Seven Times Me, Raising Lazarus, and two comedy shows, Kat's Got Your Tongue and The Kat Francois Comedy Show, which received a 5 star review at the Camden Fringe Festival.

Kat has performed on radio and television including Blue Peter and the Big Poetry Slam, and BBC Breakfast. Kat featured on Sky 1 in 2016 on “What's Up,” and has previously appeared on Sky Arts. Kat is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio, including Radio 4’s arts programme, Front Row, where she has been commissioned to write poems on themes including the First World War, and Women’s Rights, or writing spontaneously in the studio.


Raised in Tottenham, North London, Zena Edwards has become known as one the most unique voices of performance poetry to come out of London. She is also known for her polemic voice, speaking on panels for climate change and creative campaigning for equality and equitable rights. She has written and performed two one woman shows “Security” – 2009 and “Travelling Light” – 2011 with a strong self devised education packages, which toured nationally and internationally with quality reviews and critical acclaim.

As a poet, Zena has travelled extensively round the UK, the US, Africa and Europe collaborating with artists such as Nigerian choreographer Qudus Onikeku and award-winning visual artists, Theaster Gates and toured supporting living legend Hugh Masekela, the Last Poets and Babaa Maal. She has shared the stage and anthologies with some of her most admired predecessors Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sonia Sanchez, Lemn Sissay, Jean Binta Breeze and Roger McGough.

As a live performance director, Zena was the first woman director at Redbridge Arts collaborating with rising star choreographer Botis Seva, and devised and directed “Climate of Fear” for award winning Manchester Contact’s Young Creatives for the Flying Solo Festival 2016.

“Edwards is a superb performer, equally at ease as an elderly Caribbean man, as a would-be teenage MC, Ayleen, or as a lonely 47-year-old Palestinian photographer, Mahmoud.” – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

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