New performance work
Listen to – My Coffin Lid, My Shield on Spotify
My Coffin Lid, My Shield, is a spoken word, song and poetry album I recorded with Simon Mason.
Simon and I met taking care of our kids outside a Yarraville cafe. We discovered a shared interest in making strange sounds with odd words. I’d written a super-long poem that I thought might work as the basis for an imagist musical. Simon agreed. We met in Simon’s home studio over coffee and water and sang and spoke and composed as the mood took us. ‘My Coffin Lid, My Shield’ is the result: a work that explores themes of mortality and staying innocent in the face of the world’s cruelties. Contains some very occasional coarse language, some adult themes and quite a few childish ones too.
We performed it live at the Night Heron in Footscray in August 2019 – and are hoping to do more shows soon.
Other performance work
I have performed my poetry around Melbourne, Australia and the world since 2000. In 2005, under the band name Jumbuktu, I released a CD with multi-instrumentalist Bill Buttler called As If Nothing is Happening. And it is. Available for preview and purchase here, the CD was highly commended in the 2010 Triple R Spoken Word Recordings of the Decade Awards (and see a review at the bottom of this page).
I have also written and performed three dramatic monologues: Sleepless in Braybrook (Palais Theatre, Daylesford; Yarraville Festival), Get the Word (Gasworks and La Mama Theatres with Bill Buttler providing the soundtrack) and, with alicia sometimes (co-writer and performer on my piece), Sean Whelan and Emily Zoe Baker, The Confession Files (La Mama, Jolt and Dancing Dog Theatres). With the same team of writers, I also co-wrote (and performed in) Elemental, a 2009 Melbourne Arts Festival poetry/film/music show that sold out four nights at the Melbourne Planetarium.
I have also appeared in two short films, WarGame and The Beast, and I am currently writing a new stage show.
“At last, a poetry CD that you can listen to as you would a music CD . . . Mitchell uses his formidable reading skills – he knows when and how to hang a pause out there, so that the listener is thirsting for what comes next . . . Buttler’s contribution to this album is immense . . . [He] employs music styles at times so familiar to us . . . they act as another image in the poem . . .The everyday world of these poems poses insurmountable problems, asks unanswerable questions. This is a CD for the times.”
Garth Madsen, reviews As if Nothing is Happening. And it is.