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16 October 2013 | Books & Poetry, Festivals | By: Lindsey

Spoken Word Festival: The Last Word At Roundhouse

Spoken Word Festival: The Last Word At Roundhouse

Tickets have gone on sale for London's first festival focusing on spoken word performances in all their variety, The Last Word.

The festival has been created by The Roundhouse, home to an annual Poetry Slam and the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. Reflecting a growing interest in performed poetry, The Last Word presents a profusion of stories shared over two weeks, involving both established names and the best of the new generation of poets.

Paul Cree is homegrown Roundhouse talent and his debut show is the autobiographical A Tale from the Bedsit, intimately staged in a room in the Camden Lock hotel. Kate Tempest started her career rapping at strangers on London buses. Now an established poet, playwright, performer and recording artist, her first play Wasted takes you on a trip through the parks and raves and cafes of South London. John Berkavitch's Shame will be played out in a spoken word, hip hop mash up, with breakdancing.

Olympic poet, Lemn Sissay has created a one-on-one experience, Salander, an installation where words are the performers and the stories come from young people who have been or are currently in care. A new ensemble of 11 spoken word artists, A Cloud of Foxes, have worked with Polarbear to develop Run, a journey through one restless London night and its urban stories.

Alan Ginsberg's incredible, audacious, iconic poem Howl gets a 2.0 reboot in the hands of Poejazzi and talented newcomers to the Roundhouse Poetry Collective air brand new work, developed over the last eight weeks.

For those who want to to get into this spoken word lark, Inua Ellams hosts a poetry workshop for beginners — a superb opportunity to learn from a gifted poet, performer and playwright. Meanwhile, Brixton-born Laura Dockrill takes a masterclass in performance poetry for 11-25s (read her poem Gherkins). The young folk also get a chance to explore writing collaboratively and try slamming like a champ. Panel discussions explore the tension between page poetry and stage poetry, the role of a producer and the challenges and opportunities of working with digital technology. Bands and artists will discuss spoken word in music with Radio 1's Huw Stephens.

If you ever thought poetry a soft option for a performer, witness wordsmiths wrestling live at Bang Said The Gun's Page Match which has such a stellar line up we've already got our tickets. We drop just a few names here: Ross Sutherland, Tim Clare, Katie Bonner... yep, see you there.

Call it spoken word, performance poetry, rap or theatre, it's all storytelling and The Last Word is anything but for this scene.

The Last Word: Festival of spoken word, live performance and storytelling runs at the Roundhouse from 16 November to 1 December 2013.


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