I first started going to spoken word nights in 1998/99. The Derby Escape Committee put on regular nights at the Flowerpot pub on King Street, Derby. These would be fairly raucous and energetic events combining spoken word, storytelling, music, films, visual and performance art. All accompanied by the Flowerpot’s notable selection of real ale’s.
In that slightly sticky, patchily lit, cigarette smoke filled, doubled-staged function room I experienced the raw beauty of spoken, ranted, whispered and sung live literature. Mark Gwynne-Jones, Rob Gee, Jerry Hope and Mo Pickering all performed stellar and memorable sets.
Spoken word has become a potent creative force in Derby over last couple of years. Programmed by both grassroots arts organisations and communities including City-Zen, the Time Travel Opportunists, Hello Hubmarine, Flying Donkeys and Sugar Shack; but also by the mainstream venues including Déda, Derby Live and Quad.
Even with so much fabulous wordage going on in Derby, I’m off to Leicester’s Y Theatre tomorrow to see the phenomena that is Rob Gee. He did an unexpected slot at WORD! in January, performing a commissioned poem about war veterans that was ‘withdrawn’ by the commissioning organisation. He didn’t glorify the wars that have been fought; he shone a colossal halogen spotlight on the lives a group of ex-soldiers are living now.
You can find out more about him here…
http://www.robgee.co.uk “Dr Seuss for adults – unmissable!” Planet S Magazine
If you’re really lucky, there might be a FRUITCAKE ticket left just for you.
FRUITCAKE Ten Commandments from the Psych Ward
The Y Theatre, Leicester
Date – Tuesday, 9th February, 2010
Time – 8pm
Price – £10 / £8 conc