Friday, 4 February 2011

Spoken Word All Stars

Tuesday night brought the acclaimed Spoken Word All Stars touring show to Nottingham at the Lakeside Arts Centre. Organised by the charity, Poet in the City, and the leading performance poetry organisation, Apples and Snakes, Nottingham was privileged to host the only date for the show in the East Midlands, and I was lucky enough to be part of the vibrant audience.

The show presented such talents as El Crisis, Kat Francois (a World Poetry Slam Champion) and Oneness and included two guest poets from the East Midlands, Nottingham’s very own Mulletproofpoet and the brilliant Lydia Towsey. In what was a superb evening of poetry, beats and jazz the audience was swept away on a wave of comedy, tragedy and philosophy all interwoven by the improvised melodies of award-winning jazz musican Jason Yarde.

What I felt worked particularly well and found very striking was how the different voices of the poets all fit together to form a complete piece. The local poets stood alongside the Spoken Word All Stars cast, and whilst each poet was different in their own right and had their own distinctive voices, the show worked brilliantly as a whole and a powerful synergy was created between the pieces. Afterwards it felt as though you had been on a journey through the performances, that you had learned something intimate about the poets and that you had witnessed something more than a spoken word show, something special.

In a time when the arts are under more and more economic pressure it is increasingly important that audiences continue to attend such shows and display their support. For me they act not only as a release from the stresses and strains of my everyday life, but they also serve as an inspiration, showing me what can be achieved with the power of words and presenting different perspectives and ideas. They powerful, moving and prompt me think outside the 'box'.

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