Loud Poets - Expecto Patronum @ Scottish Storytelling Centre

Loud Poets mixed with Harry Potter? Spread the (spoken) word it's time to get lost in a night of poetry.

Review by Dominic Corr | 26 Nov 2018

When telling your friends, colleagues, family - hell, even the butcher - that your Friday night will consist of poetry, they all reply with bemusement; it's a little like you’ve made an awkward joke or admitted you enjoy Countdown reruns. Well, enough is enough. Poetry is not just a superb way to spend an evening, it’s invigorating and freeing in a way few other art forms gain from their audience. There’s a richer connection between an audience of spoken word with their speaker. It’s intimate, human and bloody hilarious when it has the chance to be.

What’s even better though is when you combine spoken word with Harry Potter. Any fan of the series would revel in this sort of tribute. It makes perfect sense to marry the art form of wordsmanship with that of magic, the casting of spells through words and incantations.

Every month Loud Poets gathers together a rag-tag bunch of vagrants, miscreants and troublemakers to do what else? Spread the word. This evening's poets are Sarah Grant, Ciaran Hodgers, Toby Campion and Georgia B-McNeil. Individually their styles vary: Campion’s hysterical turmoil over the lost love in McDonalds differs from the others; McNeil offers us a poignant look into self-worth, reviving her powerhouse Juggernaut; whilst, sticking with the theme, Grant’s ode to Hermione Granger deserves house points aplenty.

For those of us transfixed by our own inability to express ourselves, these lot say everything we feel and more. Some speak to you, a couple may not. Overall though they connect with us on some personal level.

Hideously undervalued, spoken word is one of the least funded sectors of the industry. And, given the state of funding nationwide, this says a lot. Loud Poets scream their name not just out of pride, but from an already turbulent ocean of uncertainty.

Grab a drink, get comfy and remember: spoken word is not for the posh or elite. It isn’t intellectually unobtainable – some of it is downright ridiculous but accessible and no less powerful. This isn’t a black turtleneck, dark glasses and smashed avocado setting. This is a pint, a laugh, a cry, but most of all this is welcoming. It gives you that warm fuzzy feeling only bliss, comfort or gin can bring. So, lose yourself in the warmth of words, take the chance and get loud about poetry.