Ryan Van Winkle is a pioneer of spellbinding one-on-one poetry readings that are akin to stepping inside your own poetic art installation.Charlotte Runcie, The List


An intimate one-to-one poetry performance from Ryan Van Winkle. An audio voyage featuring ambient melodies from Ragland. An installation with paintings, photographs and ephemera from a host of artists. A little space to listen. Joy, memory and loss condensed into 15 minutes.

A red room to lay down in with a free cup of port or tea and as many biscuits as you like.

‘Intimate and haunting’ (Lyn Gardner, Guardian)

‘Simple, yearning and effective’ (Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out)

Red, Like Our Room Used to Feel premiered at the Hidden Door Festival in Edinburgh and has been performed during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of the The Forest Fringe & Summerhall programmes in 2011 & 2012. The Red Room has traveled to The Battersea Arts Centre and the Southbank Centre in London, The Melbourne Fringe and the Woodford Folk Festival in Australia.

In 2012 Red, Like Our Room Used to Feel was one of the top ten highest rated shows of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The Red Room is portable. If you’d like to see it in your venue – contact me.

News & Reviews

Red, Like Our Room Longlisted for the Shoutout! Prize

Part of the International Literature Festival in Berlin

From Edinburgh Fringe 2012:

Guardian Theatre Correspondent Lyn Gardner:

“Intimate and haunting”; Via Twitter: “exquisite 20 minute time out ”

TheList: *****

“It’s charming, it’s inspirational and, in fact, I suspect it might be a landmark production for poetry in performance. I was cocooned in an intimate human bubble. If you are at all interested in literature, memory, performance or joy, you must see this show.” — Charlotte Runcie

The Skinny: *****

“A memorable performance as visceral as the photographs on the wall and curiosities on the shelf.” — Steven Fraser

Herald Scotland: *****

“A brief oasis of calm, where being read to is a welcome pleasure not often enjoyed beyond childhood.” — Mary Brennan

FringeGuru: *****

“All things considered, the show is superlative. That intimacy is the real magic – I felt, actually, like I was holed up in a friend’s room listening to a poem I’d heard before, about things I’d also experienced.” — Allison Mckeon

Exeunt Magazine:

“[By the end, the room] had become more beautiful and strange than I had expected, set against the ebb and flow of Van Winkle’s elemental poetry.” — Tom Wicker

photo: Peter Dibden

Time Out: ****

“Simple, yearning and effective” — Andrzej Lukowski

Edinburgh Spotlight: ****

“There has been a lot of site-specific and installation work this Fringe, but this is easily one of the best …. A piece that has real depth and substance and is willing to take all the risks that go with creating a one to one piece.”

Scottish Poetry Library:

‘This is a high-def performance, 3d poetry” — Colin Waters

From Battersea Arts Centre, December 2012

OneStopArts.com: ****

‘There is something about curating a room and condensing an experience into a tight fifteen minutes that is like writing a poem, choosing a form and filling it with images. […] Red, Like Our Room Used To Feel offers a unique way of experiencing poetry, together with a unique perspective on another person’s life. I will certainly be going back to find out what’s in the other envelopes.’ — Becky Brewis


‘This is poetry made fluttering and ephemeral, rapidly dissipating into the warm air and attaching itself to objects and thoughts. Much of this is achieved by the gentle presence of Ryan himself, whose voice lulls and cradles, sending the mind on journeys. […] I was also struck by how the piece somehow manages to be both intensely personal and overwhelmingly generous. It is as though, by indulging in this space of imagination and memory, Ryan offers us the room – in more than one way – to traverse our own imaginings and reminiscences.’ — Catherine Love

The Stone and the Star:

‘It was all rather magical. I’m a bit at a loss as to how to describe it, especially without giving everything away, but even if I described it in minutest detail I couldn’t really convey the sense of comfort and nostalgia. It was certainly one of the most unique poetry experiences I have ever had, if not one of the most unique experiences full stop.’ — Clarissa Ackroyd

From Melbourne Fringe, October 2013

Australian Poetry:

‘Red, Like Our Room Used to Feel is an experience. The unusual choice of the word ‘feel’ in the title hints at this. This show awakens new feelings and reimagines old ones. It reminds us that we can’t definitively say what anything was, only what we perceived it to be and what it felt like to us. To me, this show felt nostalgic, haunting, personal—yet, at the same time—otherworldly and surreal.’ — Bronwyn Lovell

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