Anthropoetry

Anthropoetry was, in a line, a spoken word event with a live musical backdrop that used the body as its modus operandi. Starting with the head and moving down to the loins, the liquid-tongued Ben Mellor – the Slam Champion, I have since learned, of a BBC Radio 4 competition – delivered a series of thematically relevant poems that stretched up to the heights of international politics and down to the depths of our basest animalism.

The range of moods and tones helped to keep the production fresh, and reflected the multitude of talents at this duo’s disposal.

Mellor was supported by his mute, musical companion Dan Steele, a Moby-like figure who remained silent throughout the performance but for the melodies of his guitar-synth-laptop sound corner. Together, they produced intensely atmospheric song-poems that married their two mediums admirably.

The show was – flatteringly, I know – akin to Joyce’s Ulysses, each section relating to a different part of the body and shifting between the intellectual and corporeal poles of what my student days have taught me to describe as ‘the human condition’. The range of moods and tones helped to keep the production fresh, and reflected the multitude of talents at this duo’s disposal.

Only occasionally did I feel that Mellor treaded the waters of sanctimony; more often I felt mesmerised by his observations and perceptiveness of everyday life, challenged to question my own narcissism in an age where it seems endemic. Sometimes I cannot stand the prophetism of spoken word poetry, the sense of being lectured – however lyrically – by the self-righteous, but when you feel as provoked as I did, as moved to self-doubt, you know that the artist has touched on something worth talking about.

Steele fluffed up a couple of notes – including, most unfortunately, the last – but it mattered little in an environment where the audience and artists themselves existed in a state of near-perfect harmony. His performance was otherwise virtuosic, offering a wonderfully intricate and expressive counterpart to the poetry that took centre stage. It was, all in all, a terrific production, and I urge you all to see it.

Reviews by Joshua Feldman

Marlborough Theatre

The Room in the Elephant

★★★★
The Warren: Theatre Box

Both Worlds

★★★★
The Warren: Main House

Animal Farm

★★★
The Warren: Theatre Box

Brainchild

★★★
The Warren: Theatre Box

Everything That's Wrong with the Universe

★★★★
The Dukebox Theatre

All Change

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

How do we express our spleen? Whose business do we stick our noses into? When did we start wearing our hearts on our sleeves, and why are we up to our elbows in heels and bums? BBC R4 Slam Champion Ben Mellor and multi-instrumentalist Dan Steele take you on a stand-up poetry and music fuelled tour around the body. A mix of free-verse poetry, rap, beatbox and a healthy dose of satirical humour, underscored live by guitar, keys, drumpads and looping technology.

Most Popular See More

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets