Theatre review: Spoken Word, The Accelerator

The Accelerator. Picture: Facebook

The Accelerator. Picture: Facebook

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Positivity seemed to be the over-riding theme for this night of performance poetry under The Accelerator umbrella.

The Accelerator, Spoken Word - The Canons’ Gait, Edinburgh

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Maybe it was more a matter of smiling in the face of adversity, as this multi-act showcase was the last hurrah for the capital’s spoken word godfather Jem Rolls, before he headed off on his travels once more.

Rolls himself dipped into the memory bank for his own slice of optimism while Jenny Lindsay offered an ode to pessimistic idealism. Neu! Reekie!’s Michael Pedersen reflected upon his own downbeat material, realising that the most positive poem he had to offer was actually foregrounded by Cambodia’s genocide. Rolls’s old pal, the hilariously sardonic Tim Turnbull, tore into controversy-magnet Katie Hopkins while the “lost Edinburgh poet” Michael McGill bamboozled and baffled with character-based verse and shots of finger-clickin’ cabaret.

Both Rolls and co-host Bram E Gieben kept matters bubbling away with their own largely frenetic and physical stylings and, as if under their leaders’ sway, most of the acts on the night kept movement to a minimum, allowing their words to play the key role.

If Rolls is leaving the path clear for a new generation of spoken word artists, tonight’s evidence suggests that young women are lining up to take over. Carly Brown, Agnes Török and Tayllor L Johnson all had wit, warmth and wisdom aplenty with various pieces concerning, respectively, Santa Claus, how to turn homophobia on its head and the lame duck of modern rap. The future health of spoken word seems safe in their hands.

Seen on 08.04.14

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