Every year Voice Mag sends a team of young reviewers to the Edinburgh Fringe. Sally Trivett shares with us her review of Other Voices Spoken Word Cabaret, an inclusive space for regular and guest performers to express themselves.
Founded as a safe space for marginalised poets often left out of mainstream performances, Other Voices Spoken Word Cabaret is the best kind of ‘other’. A platform both for more-established spoken word artists to guest speak, as well as offering an open mic slot for those who’ve come along, the show was dynamic and exciting.
The show was hosted that day by Fay Roberts, a multi-talented artist and incredibly friendly compere. Performers included Hannah Raymond-Cox, who jumped on the open mic one year and was never allowed to leave (!); Hannah Chutzpah, who speaks with unrelenting passion and sensual sensitivity; and an incredible improv poet whose name I wish I’d caught. Hannah Raymond-Cox and Hannah Chutzpah also had their own solo shows.
The show was successful in a number of ways. The welcoming atmosphere really helped to underscore their safe, inclusive intentions – this was proved by the confidence of those who volunteered for the open mic. In fact, the open mic slot alone is reason to go: its unpredictable nature, and the talent which could only be uncovered in such a welcoming space, is inspiring. The eclectic trio who performed at the open mic really highlighted the necessity of the show, addressing topics such as sex work, belonging, and those who identify as LGBTQ+.
The regular and guest performers were equally as rousing, combining soft-spoken eloquence with passion and heartfelt emotion. The significance of the words clearly rang true with every member of the audience. The content of each piece was fantastic and we were even treated to a brand-new poem from Roberts, who’d written it just the night before. At some points during the show the changeovers were slightly delayed and messy, but the impact of this on the overall quality was minimal.
Other Voices Spoken Word Cabaret is a cuddle and a sobering shake of the shoulders all at once – an entertaining hour overflowing with creative energy not to be missed.
If this review has inspired you to learn more about spoken word poetry, why not enter SLAMbassadors? If you’re aged 12-18, all you have to do is record a film of yourself performing a spoken word piece on the theme of ‘identity’ and submit it to The Poetry Society for your chance to win professional development and performance opportunities. But be quick – the deadline is 30 September 2017! Find out how on the SLAMbassadors website.
Sally Trivett’s interests lie very much within the visual arts and communication. Straddling multiple art forms, including writing, sculpture and film, her work focuses on concept, provoking thought and challenging societal norms. Sally’s review was first published on Voice Mag, which you can find here, and you can read more of her articles on their website.