With September now in our midst, I’ve decided to take the time to reflect on my trips to the Edinburgh Fringe
by boasting about the incredible shows I had the pleasure of seeing and showcasing the finest poetry acts that graced the Scottish stages over the month of August.
“Loud Poets” debuts 10 energetic and ambitious Scottish poets and combines them into an all-blazing, poetic force to be reckoned with.
With a particularly uplifting spirit, the show consisted of a mixture of comedic and emotional pieces to highlight the variety of talent amongst the performers. Opening with a particularly humorous short film on what it ‘means’ to become a poet (featuring Callum O’Dwyner), the night followed into a river of poetry. From nerd love, to underlining the poverty and austerity facing the United Kingdom today, to emotional pieces about the loss of a loved one, to poems that stir the self-love you need to realise within yourself. Loud Poets brought it all.
They bring forth the ever electrifying poetic talent found in Scotland today, showcasing the dynamic styles and energies that can be found within the poetry scene. Loud Poets left me laughing, crying and in the end, made me realise how poetry isn’t inclusive anymore, it’s broadening into something so much bigger. I’ve never seen so many people (including myself) talk so passionately about the show, and to end the night with a standing ovation, I think that says it all on how truly brilliant this show was to witness.
Tucked away inside the deep underbelly of a haunted pub, Harry Baker‘s show “The Sunshine Kid” was a small joy of light bursting through on a dreary afternoon. With multiple slam champion titles under his belt, Harry Baker is one exceptionally talented individual.
But this isn’t just shown through titles and trophies.
Harry Baker’s performance is one that sparks awe, releasing charisma and vitality into a room full of anticipating spectators. His energetic rhythm and poignancy in his poetry is something that everybody came to understand. Out of all of the pieces performed, no piece hit me harder than “The Scientist and The Bumblebee”, a particularly uplifting piece on the theory of how scientists believed that bees could not fly, but bees can – bringing the message that you can fight to achieve what you dream. But it isn’t all just poetry that Harry Baker has to offer: Haiku death-matches with other budding poets, singing poems in German, and poetical parodies of mainstream artists such as One Direction and Ed Sheeran had the whole room chuckling.
What carries the show is a combination of humble attitude and his energetic and attention-snapping performances, making Harry Baker a talent that is not to be missed.
Jemima Foxtrot‘s debut show at the Fringe, “Melody”, was a spectacle to witness.
A fine concoction of spoken word and music, “Melody” debuts a new kind of storytelling. A fusion of memory and music, a heavy theme of nostalgia weaves throughout it. The music used throughout acts as a stigma for the flashbacks, causing the character (played by Jemima) to continue throwing herself through the sands of the past. The show creates a balance of the different sides of nostalgia we experience. It sifts through good memories: of adolescence, of nights out with friends you’ll never forget, of newfound love – but it also reflects on the bad. How the minor changes create larger ripples in the waters of life, and the tragedy of going through abortion, reflecting on what could have been but never was.
Jemima sums up the play in one simple sentence within the show: “I’m a child of my time”. That despite the passage of time and the aging of your body, you will never truly grow out of your childish wonders and abandon your roots.
Aside from leading the stage in Loud Poets, Agnes Török‘s solo show, “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Take This Survey” is a truly exceptional show from such a talented spoken word poet.
But this show isn’t a guide to achieving happiness.
Instead, Agnes peers into the study of happiness from a personal point of view, involving her audience throughout the entire show by asking them questions about their own happiness and the way they feel about themselves. With this added personal touch, this immediately immerses the audience into thinking about their own experiences with happiness.
She analyses what it means to be happy through the social, personal and political aspects of our lives. Breaking down each of these concepts through her poetry, and concludes that in order to achieve happiness within our lives, we must combine the political opportunities to which we must stand up and help others in need, to involve as much of the social community as possible in achieving that goal, resulting into how that affects you on a personal level.
And if there’s one thing to take away from her show, it’s the advice she provides: Make art. Her final poem is perhaps the most poignant, revealing the importance of making art in order to make a difference in the world. A truly beautiful message to receive from what has became one of the most honest shows I have witnessed from such a talented individual.