Speak Easy is a place where young creative voices are heard: a place to speak and be who you want to be. An open mic event, run by Abigail Hutchinson from the Nottingham City of Literature Youth Advisory Board, in partnership with Writing East Midlands, hosted at Nottingham Playhouse. Speak Easy has two strands: 

          – Friday 14th June, 6-8pm, Nottingham Playhouse, Neville Studio (Nottingham Poetry Festival special)

          – Friday 26th July, 6-8pm, Nottingham Playhouse, Neville Studio

  • Writing workshops – Delivered by Writing East Midlands and supported by shadow writer Joe Hood-Mooring.

           – Friday 14th June, Nottingham Playhouse – Neville Studio (Nottingham Poetry Festival special)

           – Friday 6th September, Nottingham Playhouse, Company 1


What is Speak Easy?

  • Provides a platform for young and emerging artists in Nottingham to express themselves and share their work in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Fosters creativity and expression by offering workshops to develop writing skills
  • Offers sessions to help participants develop their careers as writers and performers, providing guidance and support.

Speak Easy began as a spoken word open mic event at Nottingham Playhouse, founded by Abigail Hutchison and Connor Brown with support from Nottingham City of Literature and The Mighty Creatives. It offered a platform for young writers to express themselves in a safe environment.

Its success led to expansion, now supported by Writing East Midlands and led by Abigail Hutchison, Charlie-Dawn Sadler and Joe Hood-Mooring. The collective, aimed at writers aged 15-25, offers performance opportunities, masterclasses, workshops, and more to nurture emerging talent in Nottingham.

Meet the Speak Easy Team

Abigail Hutchison

My name is Abigail and I am a poet, workshop organiser, playwright and educator who is interested in the merging of personal and political writing. I first set up Speak Easy in December 2021 and I am so grateful for the support I have had along the way to turn Speak Easy into what it is today.

I oversee both the open mics and workshops and am honoured to have such a strong team beside me to help create and maintain a safe space for budding young poets. Speak Easy aims to practise exactly what the name suggests. A place to simply be, express and belong.

Joe Hood-Mooring

My name is Joe, I am a poet and performer who is looking to make a further foray into the creative industry and hopefully make it an even greater part of my life than it already is. I have been attending Speak Easy open mics as a participant since it began in 2021, and it has meant a great deal to me ever since, being a space for open creativity, allowing upcoming and aspiring poets to share their work in a safe and supportive environment. Because of the good that Speak Easy has done for myself and others I couldn’t have been happier when I was offered the role of workshop facilitator within Speak Easy to work alongside the wonderful team that’s come together over the years. I can’t wait to see how the collective continues to grow and develop in the years to come.

Charlie-Dawn Sadler

I am a playwright, poet and actor with a first-class degree in Acting for Contemporary & Devised Performance.

After attending the Speakeasy open mic nights for a few years, I’m thrilled to join Abigail as the new co-host. Becoming part of the team behind Speak Easy is a fantastic opportunity to uncover talented writers in Nottingham and provide a nurturing space for creatives.

Hear more about our Speak Easy hosts on Tiktok!

Those interested can register for upcoming events, with limited spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis, or contact education@writingeastmidlands.co.uk for further details.

Many thanks to Nottingham Playhouse, Writing East Midlands and to Abigail, Joe and Charlie-Dawn for making Speak Easy possible.

  • You don’t need to be a part of the Collective to come along to a Speak Easy open mic night. 
  • Make sure to register your FREE place for each date and join an open and inclusive poetry & spoken word space, whether you are looking to perform or just want to listen to some incredible creative talent.