Lost for Words?
After a bumper week of poetry and spoken word events, resident poet J. A. Sutherland is almost lost for words to sum it all up. Almost but not quite. And he’s still got time to make some recommendations for the week ahead.
You can always rely on poets to come up with a good pun – or perhaps the poet would prefer to say, a play on words. On Saturday evening, Inky Fingers hosted the Porty Bellow – a fine pun, and a fun evening too.
In a room in the Dalriada pub on the prom, a mix of local poets, Edinburgh stalwarts, first-time performers and three feature-poets (including London’s Salena Godden, who featured at … Continue reading Wordly Wise – A Bellow of Poets
Poetry Clashes, Slams, and Death Matches
Talk about busy, Edinburgh’s poets and performance wordsmiths have a somewhat full card this week. Resident poet J. A. Sutherland picks through the offerings – and looks back at last week’s.
It is inevitable that, with so much activity on the spoken word scene in Edinburgh, one is spoilt for choice. Last weekend there were multiple clashes on several evenings, some of which popped up unexpectedly.
Given that we were in Book Week Scotland, words were to be expected, spoken or otherwise. At Summerhall, another new zine was launched by Dactyl, with the usual combination of … Continue reading Wordly Wisdom: Multum in Parvo!
Spoken Word – the Final Frontiers
There are more than a few spoken word events on offer during Book Week Scotland. Resident poet J. A. Sutherland checks some out and finds the odd hangover from the weekend’s Dr Who celebrations.
You never know what to expect with poetry, prose, or spoken word; whether recited, performed or presented. It can crop up anywhere, creep up on you, and comprise many diverse, different forms.
Anyone who has experienced poet Kevin Cadwallender perform his Dalek-poems will know that spoken word can be far-from staid. With his rasping stentorian delivery, it’s wise not to sit in the front row of the audience. It’s inevitable, then, that Monday’s Doctor Who Open Mic Night at the Blind Poet will feature … Continue reading Wordly Wise in Book Week Scotland
Off the Rails, Out of the Box
Out and about with poet J. A. Sutherland. This week he has been out sampling and delivering those words. Or are they words? Here’s his take on this, and the week ahead from Monday 18 November, 2013.
Before launching into (or jumping out of) this week’s box of wordly delights, I thought I’d make mention of the Antisocial Writer’s zine-launch last Saturday at Summerhall.
With the theme of Circus, there was everything from music to mono cycles, storytelling to fortunetelling, crazy cabaret acts, aerial acrobats, and stalls selling cookies and cakes, books and zines and bric-a-brac. The anti-zine itself was a colourful, hand-stitched, mixed bag of off-the-wall writing and zany illustration.
Some words were reflected in the decorations in the Dissection Room. “Is that a curtain of broccoli?” someone asked. Why, yes! This was indeed a strange, whimsical, and thoroughly entertaining afternoon of words, spoken or not.
I’m not sure if anyone has coined the phrase, ‘pigeonhole a poet at your peril’. If not, that’s it coined. One organiser of another regular event, Syndicate, describes this as: “abrasive electronic scratching over the things we used to call words. Sometimes there aren’t even words.” … Continue reading Wordly Wise 18.XI.13
A taste of Edinburgh’s spoken word scene
Edinburgh’s stages are alive with all kinds of different performance. Saturday’s launch of Discover 21 was marked with an equal helping of poetry slam and theatre extracts. Here, occasional Æ reviewer and poetry performer J. A. Sutherland casts an eye over what is going down this week.
On Sunday night, in the back room of a wee pub in a Musselburgh back-street, I joined a jolly bunch of writers, rowers, musicians and listeners for an evening known as the Musselburgh Hot-Pot.
The theme was sea-shanties, which explained the rowers, but the floor was open to all performers, whether of words or music. There were … Continue reading A Week of Spoken Word
Previews: The last few steps on the Royal Lyceum’s Dark Road
Jo Rush’s view during previews. Photo © Jo Rush
Who let the audience in! – The seventh blog from Jo Rush, AD on Dark Road, the collaboration between crime writer Ian Rankin and Lyceum artistic director Mark Thomson.
Previews are like the laboratory trial for a show. In a preview you recreate the conditions of the final production as closely as possible by having all the technical elements of the play in place and putting it in front of an audience.
And, just like in a dress rehearsal, it’s important to note things that are working and things that aren’t so you can address them the next day.
But a preview is not the finished article. You need the previews to teach you how an audience reacts to the play and what technical problems might occur so that you can then refine the production accordingly. … Continue reading The Dark Road Rushes – Seven
All tech-ed up: The final week on the Royal Lyceum’s Dark Road
Actor’s view from the Lyceum’s stage during tech week. Photo © Jo Rush
Tech week – The sixth rehearsal-room blog from Jo Rush, AD on Dark Road, the collaboration between crime writer Ian Rankin and Lyceum artistic director Mark Thomson.
The final week leading up to our official opening night of Dark Road has been surreal to say the least. During tech week everyone essentially lives at the theatre all day, everyday. … Continue reading The Dark Road Rushes – Six
#Wits: it’s all about under-representation
Consultant Christine Hamilton has called for a new generation of women to come forward and carry on the fight for representation in Scottish Theatre. Here, Jen McGregor reports from the open debate held at the Traverse Theatre on Thursday 26 September 2013 as part of that process.
Four of Scotland’s seven theatre buildings are now run, or co-run, by women. You could be forgiven for thinking that the days when being a woman was an obstacle in the path of anyone seeking a career in the liberal world of theatre were over.
Yet you would be wrong. This might be an unusually fruitful time for female Artistic Directors, but … Continue reading Women in Theatre – Scotland: Report from the Trav
Staggering through: Week four on the Royal Lyceum’s Dark Road
Calling the Dark Road rehearsal room home… Photo © Dan Travis
Almost there – The fifth rehearsal-room blog from Jo Rush, AD on Dark Road, the collaboration between crime writer Ian Rankin and Lyceum artistic director Mark Thomson.
The fourth week of rehearsals for Dark Road has seen us make the biggest transition of our rehearsal process so far – out of the rehearsal room and into the theatre. Hopefully the experience won’t prove as traumatic as the proverb that phrase is riffing on!
Having spent four weeks in the rehearsal room – which is over the road from the theatre itself – we had all become comfortable in that familiar environment and the theatre space had started to feel strangely distant, to me at least. But with the beginning of … Continue reading The Dark Road Rushes – Five