Edinburgh Festival Fringe spoken word review: Loud Poets, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock.
It’s the second year of the Loud Poets collective appearing at the Edinburgh Festival, and their continued success sums up the rude health in which the spoken word scene exists across the country, particularly in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Unlike the excellent but more long form and narrative Shift/ series currently going on at Summerhall, also drawn from the best of the Scottish scene, this lively but heartfelt group show takes on a more sketch-like quality.
Loud Poets are ten strong, and each evening’s show will see a select majority of those performers deliver tag-team works for an hour.
Pumping party music gets the audience clapping along as though this were Late ‘n’ Live, before a video intro sets the scene, introducing us to a scene where “it’s about looking sufficiently bohemian, scruffy or unemployable… if I can use those tools to make a difference I’m as good as Jesus or Buddha or Mhairi Black.”
In turn we’re introduced to Agnes, who wants “poetry that ****s me senseless and gives me morning-after hair”, and who racked up almost 200,000 YouTube hits for Worthless, her piece about the degradation of unpaid work; Kev and Doug, who team up on Nerd Love (“you can’t just wear a T-shirt with Wolverine on it and claim to know everything about adamantium – you have to learn that shit”); and the dryly amusing Kevin, who offers beauty tips for Daleks and a vision of religion as approved by a popular fast-food chain.
Miko’s words are more soft and romantic, and Carly offers an amusing literary critique of 50 Shades of Grey.
There is perhaps a sense that the members of this crew are a bit too wide-eyed and evangelical about the beauty of spoken word as an art form, but it seems to work for them. Throughout, there’s a humour, poignancy and most of all a confidence which serves to inspire.
Scottish Storytelling Centre (Venue 30) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 26 August 2015
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