What do you do with a Degree in Industrial Metallurgy? Becoming a Poet is an unexpected career move, but Nick Toczek was at the Morley Literature Festival. It was a free session, billed as:
Nick Toczek and his Million Miles an Hour Show
Writer and entertainer, Nick Toczek, will entertain children and families with his wonderful one-man show. Nick chats, tells jokes, performs magic tricks introduces you to his puppets AND performs his snappy poems, all at break neck speed! A fun event for families of all ages.
Well, the show certainly did what it said on the tin. He promised Magic, Poems and Puppetry (and fortunately the latter not of the Penis variety).
His magic was fairly predictable (to adults) but well executed, with magic wands, coloured hankies and the like. A twist to the cube on the string trick was to introduce tiny dragons that responded to his orders. One unexpected treat was to produce a telegraph pole from a Netto Carrier bag- it seems a puppet dog was tinkling on it in the bag. (David managed to work out how the telegraph pole worked). There was a certain scatological theme to his routine but kids love that stuff, unfortunately.
His puppetry involved a big spider, the Netto-kennelled dog and an endearing puppet that was a little muppet-like. I don’t recall his name but he lived in this cardboard box and was a little shy.
When it came to reading poems, however, he excelled. His use of alliteration, pace, rhyme, rhythm and onomatopoeia had the children bouncing along with his stories of schools being eaten by dragons, registers when no-one is there and other topics kids could relate to. There was a squeal of delight from one young Morley hardcase when he actually recognised one of the poems and enthusiastically joined in. (You can see a sample poem of his here)
Nick was rather anarchic, shouting at the kids saying how horrible they were then giving a big laugh and grin as well afterwards. It seems there is more to Nick than meets the eye, from his Facebook page (& Google) he writes football poetry and has a passion for Punk.
David voted Nick the best show at the Morley LitFest on the smiley sheet, not bad for a free event…