By Isabella Fraser
Spoken Word is a fast growing area of performance (only having had its own section in the Edinburgh Fringe Guide since 2012) and these local based poets – Miko Berry, Agnes Török, Kevin McLean and Douglas Garry – are the four key, self-proclaimed, ‘loud’ poets. Berry himself recently came fourth in the World Poetry Slam competition in Paris, so these are no mean slouches when it comes to word play. With new guests every night (on the night of review these were Leyla Josephine and Kevin Cadwallender) as well as a band to improvise music to accompany the show; these are poets with a difference.
Spoken word is defined as ‘performance based poetry’ and according to the Urban Dictionary, best spoken on stage rather than read on the page. What this definition fails to mention is the energy entailed in presenting that spoken word, but the Loud Poets have it in spades.
A packed audience of whooping and cheering people greet the poeteers. Beginning with a humorous filmed take on what being a poet means and what other people think a poet is, this sets the tone for the evening. Poet after poet switches place on stage while the band finds the rhythm to match the emotion of the piece. Every poet has his or her own story and style. Fast, frenetic and upbeat, it is easy to be swept up in the excitement that the changing pace maintains. It is impossible not to join in with the cheers: while these poems may stem from the familiar common themes of love, self and hope, these poets are speaking from the heart with a passion that causes the atmosphere to vibrate and draw us in.
Witty, amusing and very often touching, a night out with the Loud Poets is highly recommended.
Loud Poets runs 10-13, 20, 24 August at The Storytelling Centre at 21.00 and at St John’s Church at 22.00 on 15, 22 August. Running time is 1 hour.