– reviewed by Lucy Ayrton –
Around the World in Eight Mistakes is a powerhouse of a spoken word show from a phenom of a performer. Poet and performer Sophia Walker guides the audience through an hour of misadventures with skill and panache.
The style slips effortlessly between storytelling and poetry – the tone is so conversational, you can end up in a poem without realising how you got there. If it sounds like this might have been a bit confusing – it wasn’t. This informality of style was emphasised by the venue’s casual setting, as The Royal Oak’s bottom room is a tiny little pub space, where the audience sat all over the place with no discernible ‘audience zone’. And Walker roamed around the space, including everyone with her warm and accessible delivery, so the show felt, at times, like you were just having a really interesting chat with someone cool in a pub. Which, I suppose, is exactly what was happening.
There were some damn good jokes, some real wisdom and some genuinely shocking moments within this show. Walker‘s writing pops with amazing lines, while cliches were neatly subverted (“all grass looks greener in the shadows” was a favourite) and some images left the (obviously captivated) audience audibly gasping. The section on Uganda left me feeling shaken and a bit hollow. You know, in a good way.
This show closed on the 23rd, so if you didn’t manage to catch it, then watch out for Sophia Walker (her future gigs will hopefully be listed here). As well as performing this superb show, she also won the prestigious BBC Poetry Slam, so next time you are able to see her: you should grab a ticket with both hands.
Star Rating: 5/5