Loud Poets, 4/8/14

Loud Poets,
Scottish Storytelling Centre, Venue 30, 43-45 High Street
04/08/2014 21.00
10th-13th, 20th, 24th August 21.00-22.00
£8 (£6 concession)

Review by Hannah Collins

Having seen a couple of these guys perform at Soapbox poetry events, I was excited to see what they had devised for their Edinburgh Fringe shows. I was not disappointed! Miko Berry, Doug Garry, Kevin McLean, and Agnes Török (the core voices of Loud Poets) delivered a show that was thoroughly engaging and entertaining from start to finish. Berry, winner of the Scottish National Slam, opened with a piece that commanded the room’s attention as he easily managed to get the audience excited. His later solo performance showcased an impressive timing ability which matched the strength of his sincerely passionate poetic voice. Török also delivered a great performance. Her first piece was particularly interesting as she spoke a kind of ‘anti-coming out’ critique by turning the concept round on heterosexuality. She asks wittily, “How did you know for sure you were straight?”, a line that Judith Butler would be proud of. Garry and McLean were responsible for the most comedic piece of the evening with ‘Big Love’. Here they argue the case for ‘big guys’ being a preferable dating alternative to ‘skinny guys’. The entire audience was belly-laughing in reaction to this very clever performance which seems to be growing into a Loud Poets signature piece, and deservedly so.

The event also featured guest performances which change from show to show. On this occasion, we were presented with the undeniable talents of Kevin Cadwallender and Leyla Josephine. Cadwallender began with a ‘paean’ to Royal Mail which took the form of a hilarious revision of the ‘Postman Pat’ lyrics. His second piece imagines what life would be like for a Dalek who follows a very rigorous skincare routine. Cadwallender even adopted a cyborgised voice for this riotous, and insightful, performance. I particularly enjoyed his adaptation of the classic Dalek catchphrase: “You must exfoliate!”. Josephine’s performance was nothing short of spectacular and it quickly became apparent why she bears the title of Commonwealth Slam champion (she was also wearing amazing glittery socks – always a winner for me). Both pieces Josephine delivered were absolutely captivating as she vocalised subjects which I think many women, and men for that matter, feel they must shy away from. Her musings on the possibility of being a feminist whilst maintaining a sense of femininity were angst-y without the connotations of a ‘tortured’ teenager. I felt she was able to challenge preconceived notions of a ‘feminist rant’ with great success simply by telling the truth about what life is like for many women living in our contemporary society.

Loud Poets guarantees a smorgasbord of lyrical enjoyment, laughter, arresting performances and, above all, talent. Definitely one to add to the ‘must see’ list.

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