Ben Norris is an actor and writer

In 2013 he became the UK All-Star Poetry Slam Champion and has since performed his spoken-word across the country, from Latitude Festival to the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. His work has been broadcast across BBC radio, his first poetry pamphlet was published in 2014 and his debut solo show, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family‘, won the 2015 IdeasTap Underbelly Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before touring the UK extensively in autumn 2016, finishing with a sell-out run at Southbank Centre.

He hosts ‘Cadence,’ a monthly poetry and music night in East London, and from March 2016-17 he completed PAW – his attempt to record and publish a Poem A Week on Youtube for a year.

His debut short film was produced earlier this year by Channel 4, for which Ben was nominated for Best New Talent at the 2016 Royal Television Society Awards.

Acting credits include work with the National Theatre Studio, Frantic Assembly, Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse, RSC, National Theatre Wales and Channel 4, and his writing for the stage has been performed at Leicester Curve, Theatre 503 and Theatr Clwyd, where he was recently writer-in-residence.

He trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, before which he studied English with Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham.

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44 thoughts on “

  1. Hello Ben – it’s Sue of the pseudo healing hands here! I saw your piece for John on Youtube – it is so wonderful, articulates everything brilliantly! Didn’t know how else to let you know, so had to do a bit of cyber-stalking to find you! All best x

    • Thank you, Sue! I’m so glad you like it. You were a big inspiration, of course; your company on that day, and the conversations we had, were amazing. So thank you for that also. (And this isn’t cyber-stalking, don’t worry – I have a website for a reason!)

      All my best,

      Ben x

  2. Hiya, thanks for the great poetry evening yesterday at the Tobacco Factory (Bristol)! We really enjoyed – specially your poem about your “future granny” – lol 😁 genius!

    • Hi Marisa,

      Thank you! Yep, my nan is a particular favourite among audiences. I often think that she should perform herself.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the gig. Thanks for coming!

      Best wishes,

      Ben

  3. I have to recite a poem for a competition soon and looking for inspiration I stumbled upon your roundhouse poetry performance and loved it.
    It has helped me a lot and given me a lot to think about, so thank you so much.
    Jasmine 15.
    p.s I have tried to find it online but can’t, is that on purpose or am i just not looking hard enough?

  4. Heyy Ben,

    My name is Marion and I live in the United States. I’m a spoken word junkie and one day I somehow found myself watching the Roundhouse slam in the deep dark corners of American Youtube. Your poem Gravity is amazing. Since then, Roundhouse’s youtube page has made it unavailable to Americans though. I was wondering if you could upload a video of it to your own youtube channel if you have one. It’s cool if not, but I thought that I’d ask anyway.

    Marion

    • Hi Marion,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I’m so glad you like the poem. You’re the second person who has contacted me about this, so I’ve been in touch with the Roundhouse and asked them to reinstate the permission to allow you to watch it in the USA. If they won’t do that, then I will try and get the video off them to stick it on my own YouTube channel; either way, I’m determined that you’ll be able to watch it again soon!

      I really appreciate your support.

      Best wishes,

      Ben

  5. Ben,
    I find myself in the same position as Jasmine — one of my students needs a piece to recite and I instantly thought of Gravity. They love the recitation on YouTube but cannot find the transcript. Also, try to make your way over to the east coast U.S.!

    • Hi Jonathan,
      It would be my pleasure. Let me know your email address and I’ll send you the transcript. Would love to come to the U.S.! Give me a few years to build a fanbase there that actually merits a tour and then I’ll be all over it!
      Best wishes,
      Ben

  6. Hello,
    I recently joined a poetry group that comprises the most supportive and accepting group of individuals I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. As someone with a lot on my plate, I am very appreciative of their kindness. Your work is brilliant and deserves so much recognition. I was hoping to recite your piece on Gravity if that’s okay with you? It is stunning in its diction and flow and the very idea behind it.

    • Hi Shalini,

      That’s lovely to hear; I’m so glad both that you’ve found this wonderful supportive group, and that you like the poem. Of course I’d be very happy for you to recite it, and am grateful for you introducing my work to more people. I’ll email the text of Gravity to you now. I’ve just started uploading a poem a week to YouTube, which I hope to keep up for a year! I’d be really grateful for your support, so if you like my work, please share them around! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPtI0jDlO2ghV0eeasanGBUUb3rn-Fi3U

      Best wishes,

      Ben

  7. Hi Ben
    I loved your poem as a feature at the Tatton Flowers Show winner of the “Back to Back Garden” Can you tell me which poem it is and where can I get a copy? Thanks so much.
    Catherine

    • Hi Catherine,
      Thank you so much. I’m really glad you liked it. It isn’t published anywhere else at present as it was written specifically for that garden. I think it was printed as part of the garden’s brochure which was distributed at Tatton, but if you didn’t manage to get a copy then I’d be happy to simply email the text of the poem over to you?
      Best wishes,
      Ben

  8. Hey Ben,
    in 2014 I was watching poetry a lot. At that time I was sooo into poetry slam and I had seen almost every German poetry text. Since I wanted to study English in my future life I then decided to look for English poetry. After hours of searching (which wasn’t easy because in Germany you only get German suggestions on “poetry slam”.) I found your text “gravitiy” and I fell in love with it right away. So many puns and just a piece of art. So I started stalking a little to find other texts of your’s. Unfortunately you didn’t have that many poems online back then. I also wasn’t able to go to Britain to see you live at that time because i just started my last years of school and I had few free time. So, I eventually let go of the idea of finding other poems. A few weeks ago I then found out that your doing the PAWs. It is an amazing idea and I watched every single one of them. Thank you so much for them. Additionally, I would have loved to draw a portrait of your’s but I figured that you don’t have an Instagram page I could tag you on. If I should do so, I would like to send you a picture of my drawing (if you’d like). Could I send it to the e-mail adress listed in your contacts? I’m looking forward to a reply and hope you keep on writing and presenting poetry.

    Best Wishes
    Patrick
    (diceofwords on instgram if you want to take a peak)

    • Hi Patrick,
      Thanks for your lovely message! I’m really glad you’ve found the PAWs and are enjoying them; that means a lot. And of course, I would love to see the drawing! As you said, the email address on the contact page is the best way to get it to me. Looking forward to seeing it!
      All the best,
      Ben

  9. Hi Ben,

    I was at Watershed (Bristol) tonight, you were great. Just to let you know my favourite poem of yours was your last one, the newest one 😊

  10. Hi Ben,

    I just wanted to say how much i love your poetry and how much its changed me for the better. So thank you for everything you have done. I would love to ask you a few questions if you have time, if not it is okay.

    Much Love,
    Kirsten

  11. Hi Ben
    Just listened to “The Liquid You”. Mesmerising, powerful work.
    Are you at the Edinburgh Festival this year?
    Heather

    • Hi Heather,

      Thank you – I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      I am going to be at Edinburgh this year, but not with a show of my own unfortunately. I’m sure it won’t be long before I’m back with a new one though, fingers crossed.

      Best,

      Ben

  12. Ben,
    I just listened to ‘The liquid you’ on radio 4 and it really struck a chord for me. My grandma passed away in August due to dementia, she like your grandma (I appreciate this isn’t your name for her) was moved to a small room by herself, she too looked small, and I did my best to become an ‘actor’ to make our final conversations more animated. I also seemed to get annoyed when people didn’t call her grandma, nana or nain or granny just didn’t seem right for me, people weren’t naming who my grandma really was to me. I’ll be honest I hadn’t intended to listen to this, id been trying to get to radio 1 but instead I listened to this, it just happened to come on. It moved me so much I was almost brought to tears on the bus. Thankyou Ben, although it has changed my day it has given me a strong reminder of my grandma.

    • Cameron,

      Thank you for your inspiring, moving and open message – I am extremely touched to hear how much the piece in turn touched you. This kind of thing is exactly why I write and perform, and it’s wonderful to hear that the work is reaching people in such a meaningful way. Also, I’m not sure there’s a greater compliment than the fact that you were trying to get to Radio 1, lingered for a moment, and ended getting hooked on this. Honestly, I’m deeply flattered. That kind of audience retention would delight the Radio 4 people too I’m sure! haha.

      Very best wishes, and love to you and your grandma (I understand the importance of naming things properly so well),

      Ben

  13. Hello,

    Just listened to you on Radio 4 and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. I must admit I’m not one for poetry, but I was glued to the radio today – your work had me gripped. I wish you every success in your career.

    Best wishes,

    Irene

  14. Hi Ben, I stumbled upon The Liquid You on Radio 4. I found it beautiful and touching, and I listened to it several times, as it was so richly delivered too. And it reminded me of the joy of writing too. Cheers for being brave and creative, hope there’s plenty more to come 🙂

  15. Hi Ben,
    I have just heard your amazing work for the first time – The Liquid You, on Radio 4. I am stunned by its beauty and tenderness, resonating from such prosaic circumstances. Can’t wait to read your poetry. Are you performing in Notts any time soon? Gail 😀

    • Hi Gail,
      Thank you for saying such lovely things about the piece; I’m so glad it spoke to you like that.
      Sadly no gigs lined up in Notts at present – unfortunately we couldn’t make it work for the poetry festival this year – but hopefully something will emerge soon! At the very latest, I *hope* I’ll be doing Hockley Hustle in October.
      Best wishes,
      Ben

  16. Hello Ben and Kia ora (hello in Maori and not a juice drink ..)
    I just listened by chance to the Liquid You on Radio4 iPlayer and loved it. I’m going to search for more of your poems. Do you ever come and perform in New Zealand? We have a writers festival in Auckland every May … just saying! Cheers debby

    • Kia ora to you too Debby! Thanks so much for getting in touch; I’m really glad you enjoyed the piece. No plans at present to perform in NZ, but I’d love to one day. Happy to receive invitations from the Writers Festival…!
      Best wishes,
      Ben

  17. Hello! I listened to ‘Liquid You’ on the radio catch up today and thought it was wonderful: so moving, articulate and heartfelt.
    The write up said you have had a ‘pamphlet’ of poetry published – is it possible to buy it anywhere please?

  18. I was very impressed with The Liquid You on BBC Radio 4 and felt it was the right place for such a work.I do hope they can repeat it or make it available as a podcast as I have told so many about it. I have lived abroad most of my working life and have had to return to the UK for funerals and often felt reverse culture shock after being away so long. The impressions of returning to a place where you grew up and outgrew were so well put and apposite.The sense of once belonging to a place and then not, was wonderfully explored. I think that is why it has touched so many people living in far away places.The idea was a great one and one I have always felt keenly about. What happens to a place when you leave? There was once a science fiction story where sounds and conversations could be retained by the building and be listened to again at anytime with the correct device. Of course we can with memory and the minds eye and we can spend as long as we want to in that space. I do hope you publish The Liquid You one day,I will certainly buy it. I wish I had seen you at the Watershed in Bristol as that’s where I usually visit when returning to the UK. I will certainly explore the idea of returning to a home town with my students in the following weeks.

    • Hi Mike,
      Thanks for your lovely message. I’m so glad you enjoyed ‘The Liquid You’. I also hope they decide to repeat it, but we’ll have to see! If not then it matters not; it’s more than enough to know that it has already moved people all over the world. I may also one day publish it, who knows. For now, though, I simply want to say another big thank you for getting in touch and letting me know that the piece struck a chord – I’m thrilled to hear that, and I hope your students enjoyed it, and exploring the themes, too.
      All my best,
      Ben

  19. The Liquid You is absolutely stunning. I must have listened to it about 15 times… still not enough. Where can we listen to it again? It seems to have vanished from the face of the internet.
    Lily x

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