When the theme was choosen for PASTA in March and it came out as “Scary Panda” I can’t have been the only one who thought, “Oh! That will be tough.” But one thing PASTA always brings out is a level of creativity which is varied, sublime and astonishing.

A close up of a microphone with theatre seats in the background blurred out. Text at the top reads, "PASTA. Poets and Storytellers Assemble" On the right, next to the microphone are the words "This month's theme: SCARY PANDA " At the bottom are the words, "Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton. Tuesday 19th March 2024. 7.30pm. Free Entry" Also in the bottom right is an AI generated image of a scary panda. The prompt was "A scary panda but in a fun and cartoony style. if you can have them chasing a poet through a bamboo field then even better." It's done a pretty good job to be fair but that was down to the quality of the prompt.

So yes we had work on scary pandas, and scary Panda-monialists and creatures in general. Then in the second half everyone stretched their wings (or would a more suitable metaphor be “puffed up their fur”) and the mix of subjects, voices and emotions was immense.

It’s great to see how PASTA has grown over time and the variety of faces and experiences which are coming through our little night.

The truth is, when you dare to assemble poets and storytellers you shouldn’t really be surprised at the magic which comes out and it always does. We’ll see you in June.