Brighton’s lively Open Market played host to the Wordstock festival this Saturday. The central courtyard was lined with vintage clothing, bookstores, plant shops, and even a pottery studio complete with an ageing, but, lovely dog. This was a full day of spoken word, slam poetry, rap, and song, all celebrating the power of storytelling.
Plenty of untapped potential which will soon be making the rounds in Brighton’s spoken word circuit!
First up in the morning was a short story hour with the Brighton Storytellers. Showcasing a handful of tales inspired by Celtic Folk Stories and traditional English Fairy Tales (dragons included), the storytellers gave expressive performances which colourfully brought the witches, kings, and knights to life – despite there being no sets or costumes! Kids and adults alike were delighted by the coming of age tale of a young knight who saved his kingdom from a terrorising dragon, and all joined in the sing-along about fire, earth, magic and the importance of eating your greens.
In between shows, passers-by and audience members browsed the stalls. Wares ranged from a remarkable collection of vintage poetry zines and graphic novels from UBU books, to free second-hand award winners from the Writers’ HQ, who later in the day hosted a How to Write a Novel in 60 Minutes Workshop. Originally aimed at kids, this show was back by popular demand and freshly tailored for the adults who were so keen to take part.
Later in the day, Culture Clash saw Brighton Poets and Brighton Rappers showing off their impressive young talent: rappers showcased spunk and humour and poets gave emotionally intelligent performances. A highlight was Work In Progress' rap about growing up in Brighton – opening the show with relatable content (that appealed to anyone living in this city) about openness, community and love.
Rounding off the day was another open mic round of short stories and poetry, and a selection of readings from the Devil’s Dyke Network, another group of original, young creatives using the Fringe as a platform for expression. The relaxed community vibe made this day, with much of the audience consisting of friends, locals and people who had stumbled across the venues. Wordstock showcased plenty of untapped potential which will soon be making the rounds in Brighton’s spoken word circuit!