Loud Poets: The Fantastical Game Show Spectacular

For anyone who isn't already familiar with Loud Poets, you really should be. This group are truly on the forefront of a shift in the way we digest poetry today.

I'd go as far as to say this line-up are probably the most talented purveyors of poetical wit you'll find at the Fringe

A change from their 2017 show, this year's Loud Poets: The Fantastical Game Show Spectacular is deliberately deceiving. With the air of a poorly designed 1970s game show studio, the two team captains, Doug Garry and Kevin McLean, invite other acts from the Fringe to join them. On this particular night it was Imogen Stirling and Freddie Alexander.

The show takes part over four games, which include spinning the "wheel of distraction", a Jenga match, painting with poems and "play your bards right" - all interpretations of some of the 70s most loved quizzes. Similar to last year, poetical parodies produced on film provides a half-time break that went down well with the audience.

While I applaud the Loud Poets for experimenting with different formats, a game show spectacular does seem wholly unneccessary and moreover hinders the momentum of the show, which could otherwise seamlessly move from one fantastic poem to another. This is actually a compliment to the poetry that is produced, for example the host, Mark Gallie's poem where he personifies a speed boat, is a highlight of the evening. Unlike many shows at the Fringe, Loud Poets needs no gimmicks to make this a "spectacular".

The show, without a "wheel of distraction", is already packed full of humour and fun. In fact, I'd go as far as to say this line-up are probably the most talented purveyors of poetical whit you'll find at the Fringe, including the carefully chosen acts who take part each night. The show ends with a stand-off between the host and the team captains, who argue that art should not be judged. This ties back neatly to the chant we were made to repeat by the host before the show kicked off — "let's judge art". However, while the night ends on a poignant message about the subjectivity of the artistic realm and the need for the absence of winners and losers, and I do concur with the message to "write whatever you want to write", I am keen to hear more of their loud and proud poetry.

Reviews by Sophia Charalambous

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Performances

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The Blurb

After four years of wowing audiences at festivals across the UK and Europe, the award-winning Loud Poets return for their fifth year at the Edinburgh Fringe and this time they're bringing their Fantastical Game Show Spectacular! With Loud Poets' special blend of fist-thumping, pint-drinking, side-tickling poetry and some of the UK's top poets going head to head, this poetic fist fight will make sure the spoken word revolution is filmed in front of a live studio audience. So come on down and let's play Loud Poets: The Fantastical Game Show Spectacular!

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