Both promising and inspiring to see spoken word presented with such flare and that it’s so widely received by an audience spanning all ages.
Each performer is able to display their own unique style of poetry. Eleven poems in total and each dealing with an entirely unique subject matters, from swimming to the refugee crisis. You could not craft a better opening than Doug Garry’s wonderful piece about romantic, love. It was moving, funny, and sentimental and the musical accompaniment was successful in bolstering his words. The second piece was performed by Kevin McLean and Doug Garry about the end of the world, which they managed to deliver both humour and somberness. Catherine Wilson came next with a thoughtful piece about fear, which will resonate with us all. When Katie Ailes began her poem about refugees, I didn’t know how I felt about her talking of a crisis that is not her own. But she ended with a line explaining how she knows this poem helps nothing, and it became a reminder of how important spoken word is; poetry cannot change the world, but it can move people in ways other mediums cannot — from the soul.
Sage Francis was a particular highlight. The American Hip Hop recording artist and spoken word poet delivered two hard-hitting pieces Hip Hop and the South African AIDS crisis were particularly hard-hitting. It was after hearing his two pieces, that did not have musical accompaniment, I remembered how powerful words can be when left alone to strike their own blow. It is this element of spoken word that I would’ve loved to have seen more within the show - carefully selecting which poems require music and which can go without. I also did not necessarily believe the satirical short films of well-recognised adverts was all that necessary. I do think they offered a welcomed mental reset after some of the more harrowing poems, but were not needed in as great a quantity. This is because quality and talent of this group of poets stands up all on its own. It is both promising and inspiring to see spoken word presented with such flare and that it’s so widely received by an audience spanning all ages.