Spoken word and performance poetry continues to gather steam in the UK. Unsurprisingly, London finds itself at the epicentre of this blooming verbiage and many nights are cheap or even free to attend. So, just as the rhymes freely trip off the tongues of the poets, let your calendar fill up with all the expansive and experimental expression London has to offer.
Poet and musician James Massiah shares his work via ‘The A and the E’ alongside a host of friends and fellow performers. He has produced work for the BBC, the Guardian and Nike, and his Poætry Sessions run throughout the year at the ICA on a pay what you can basis. What Massiah’s nights guarantee is access, authenticity and artistic endeavour from performers like Soph LS and Belinda Zhawi.
With a very popular open mic night, Rhymes with Orange is one of the best places to have a go at spoken word, if it so takes your fancy. If you do well, you might get offered a featured slot at the next show. The Dalston outfit takes its show to Edinburgh Fringe each year so, who knows, with some luck you could find your own ticket up north.
With events at the Albany, Arcola and Soho Theatres, Chill Pill offers high-energy spoken word nights in central London venues for under a tenner. Poet Mr Gee Mole, host of Radio 4’s ‘Bespoken Word’, spearheads the night, and also as part of the collective is Simon Mole, a poet who has performed alongside the likes of Simon Armitage. Chill Pill is what it says on the tin – a laid back atmosphere where up and coming talent rubs shoulders with some of the hottest spoken word artists out there.