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What makes a good cocktail? What on earth is a cinquain? And why have we put the two together? If you join us for a night of boisterous beverages and punchy poetry hosted by Keisha Thompson and Rory Aaron, you might just find out…

We will treat you to a high-quality mix of a spirited guest poet, a performance mixologist, a mixer act and much much more. We’ll start things simply with our guest poet’s favourite cocktail, then descent into a world of mixology mystery. Their challenge will be to create a whole new drink inspired by poetry, your reactions and whatever is available in the shops to be honest.  

For those who want to engage with the full experience, tickets will be available for you to enjoy the night as well as the feature cocktails and mocktails. Otherwise, just buy a regular ticket and sip on some water. We don’t mind. All our welcome. 

Oh yes and what is cinquain, you ask? It’s just a fancy five-line poem. Something like this:  

Join us 

for a fun night 

of liquid poetics 

that might make you spit veneers to  

shout cheers!

Louise Wallwein MBE 

Poet/Playwright Louise Wallwein MBE will be joining us as our headliner!

Her work has been performed on shorelines, the sea, the streets, on the wing of a WWII Shackleton aircraft and in theatres across the UK and the world.

BBC Radio 3 and 4, BBC One, produced by Contact, Red Ladder, National Theatre Wales, Royal Exchange Theatre, Walk The Plank, BAC, Z Arts, HOME.

GLUE, her acclaimed, theatre demolishing one-woman show is published by SmithDoorstop.

She has taught in communities across the North, and has completed residencies across the world, working with thousands of people to develop their voice. 

Her approach is fearless.

A person in a suit looking to the right in front of red curtains

Keisha Thompson

Keisha Thompson is a Manchester-based writer, performance artist and producer, and Contact’s new Artistic Director and CEO.

Keisha is also chair of radical arts funding body, Future’s Venture Foundation, a MOBO x London Theatre Consortium Fellow and a member of Greater Manchester Cultural and Heritage Group, and recipient of The Arts Foundation Theatre Makers Award 2021.

In August 2020, she released a new mini-album, Ephemera, in collaboration with Tom “Werkha” Leah and featuring riveting cellist, Abel Selaocoe.

Keisha wearing a orange dress holding a mic in one hand and a poem on paper in the other

Rory Aaron

Rory Aaron is a  poet, theatre-maker and creative practitioner.

His first collection, ‘Doglike’, was recently published by Bearded Badger Publishers, and film with BBC New Creatives.

Through his writing, he explores themes such as mental health, class, industrialisation and the changing landscape of modern cities. He is currently ACE funded for his second collection, and completing an artistic residency with The Turnpike Centre in Leigh.

Rory performing on stage holding a mic in hand


  • Price
    £5 for an individual ticket | £8 add on for those pre-booking a cocktail with the performance
  • Venue

    Contact, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M15 6JA

  • Ages
    14+ for performance only or soft-drink buyers, 18+ for alcohol buyers
  • Running
    2 hours 5 minutes, including a 20 minutes interval
  • Genre
Date Time & Place
Friday 4 November 7:30pm
Sold out