Top Spoken Word Moments of 2012
– listed by James Webster –
As the year is (fairly) recently ended and a new one begun, it seems a reasonable (ok, fairly late) time to round up some of the Spoken Word events and reviews that have made this such a successful year for Sabotage.
Top 5 Most Viewed
1. Edinburgh Coverage – by far and away the most viewed Spoken Word reviews were from Sabotage’s coverage of the Edinburgh Fringe. You can find them here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 part 1, Day 4 part 2, Day 5, Day 6 part 1, Day 6 part 2, Day 7 part 1, Day 7 part 2. Phew, that was a lot of reviews: special mention should go to the most viewed day featuring: Ben Mellor’s ‘Anthropoetry’, Lucy Ayrton’s ‘Lullabies to Make Your Children Cry’ and Phill Jupitus’s ‘Porky the Poet – 27 Years On’
2. Hammer & Tongue National Slam Final! – a wealth of poets competing from all over the UK with Adam Kammerling emerging as the worthy winner and UK National Slam Champion.
3. WASTED – by Kate Tempest – Tempest’s first play blended theatre and poetry into a heady intoxication of words.
4. The Stoke Newington Literary Festival – a bevy of events, speakers and performers all descending on Stoke Newington in a myriad of Literary goodness.
5. Edinburgh International Women’s Day All-Female Slam – a brilliant idea to promote female poets in the Spoken Word scene in a medium still dominated by men.
My Personal Top 5
On a more subjective note, here are a few of the events that I’ve most enjoyed this past year.
1. Nth Entities by Anna Le and Phil Manzanera – I’ve long been an Anna Le fan, and hearing her complexly evocative language soaring around Manzanera’s dizzying guitar created a unique duet of words and music.
2. Hammer & Tongue Oxford: Valentine’s Day Slam featuring Dizraeli and Superbard – Sabotage didn’t actually review this one, but it was a phenomenal evening of wordplay, love and gorgeousness. Dizraeli’s set was stupefying in its verbal ingenuity and poignancy, while Superbard’s interactive love story was a monument to his storytelling prowess and creativity.
3. Once Upon a Time in Space by the Mechanisms – an event of storytelling and music, twisting well-known fairytales into a dark sci-fi setting that frightened and delighted.
4. Dirty Great Love Story by Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna – full of memorable characters, hilarious wordplay, and all tied together by the charming performances of two outstanding poets.
5. Word Wrestling Federation Presents: Page Match 2 – bringing together my love of poetry and professional wrestling in a way I didn’t think possible. For all its flaws, this night was great fun; full of posturing, put-downs, poetry and larger-than-life performances.