This month's Word Soup review is a guest post from Ann the Poet.
Word Soup is a fantastic and flavoursome event hosted by the fabulous Jenn Ashworth with prose and fiction writers keeping it real at the Continental, Preston. In June Word Soup 3 was a bit different and focused on performance poetry. The host for the event was the lively and engaging Ann Wilson aka Ann the Poet . The guest poets were ukulele loving and Thatcher hating Gary Bridgens and a fellow Barrovian Goth poet and playwright Sarah Miller.
Ann opened the event with some attention grabbing poems and advice on microphone technique. There were five open mic performers in the first half with themes varying from father and son relationships to the celebrities that could be locked in your cupboard. It was a very warm night so the interval was a great opportunity to nip outside and stock up with drinks. Also some audience members were so impressed with the open mic they decided to have a go as well. There was a wealth of talent on the open mic with high quality writing and some heart breaking honest performances. The people of Preston should be proud of themselves, what gorgeous people they are.
We opened the second half with some of Ann’s punchy poems to warm up the stage and then a fantastic open mic with some people giving their first ever poetry performance in public. Everyone was amazing. Sarah Miller was the first guest poet to perform she is engaging, thought provoking and honest. Her observations on everyday life and overheard conversations really strike a chord. Chav Love Poem - If I loved you I’d of burnt your fuckin house down was an audience favourite.
Gary Bridgens performed a great set of comedy poems and fast patter songs with his ukulele. His poems and songs about Margaret Thatcher almost brought the house down, if you still remember getting your milk stolen or the miners’ strike you’ll love Gary’s song. Gary is a true star and the audience were left laughing.
We hope to have another performance poetry focused Word Soup. If you’d like to perform on the open mic here’s six top tips for your open mic spot:
* Be confident about your material – people want to hear what you have to say.
* Take your time – each performer has 3 minutes which is enough time to perform two or three poems
* Rehearse what you will say – most poems don’t need an introduction but if they do it’s worth rehearsing that bit too, sometimes poets introductions are longer than the poems and sometimes they give the whole thing away in the introduction making the poem seem pointless. Introductions should just contain information that the audience needs to hear to understand the poem or something that will enhance the experience of hearing the poem.
* Be sure of your intention. If you are performing here hoping to get more gigs perform your best work, if you are performing to see if new material works perform that, if you are performing to improve your confidence try work that you are already familiar with and can perform well.
* Make yourself know to the host. It’s the hosts job to make sure the audience are ready to receive you and you have the best platform to deliver your material. The host can also promote your website, book or other gigs.
* Have fun. If you enjoy yourself it’s likely the audience will too.