Loud Poets are a collective of ten performance poets who collaborate with a variety of artists. They present their latest Fringe show at the Scottish Storytelling Centre from the 6 – 31 August. We chat to them about their new show and how they keep spoken word exciting and interesting.
The 2014 Loud Poets Fringe show got rave reviews. Without giving too much away, how have you managed to improve the successful formula?
We have worked more closely as the Tremendous Ten (our core roster of poets) and with our Loud Band, creating a show that flows even better, is even slicker and more varied than last year’s show.
Music and storytelling was a big part of your show last year. Do you actively seek out other art forms to influence your performances?
In our regular shows we often collaborate with rappers and the occasional stand up comedian. For this year’s Fringe show, we have also worked more closely with filmmakers and professional photographers. We always find that new and exciting things happen when we bring different art forms and artists together. Ultimately, however, music and spoken word form the core of the excitement in this year’s Fringe show. But you can expect laughter, rap, rhymes and some gorgeous videos as well.
Loud Poets put on spoken word nights in Edinburgh and Glasgow all year round. Has organising gigs and regularly performing helped you develop this years Fringe show?
It has really helped us find a great variety of local poets to become part of the core ten, as well as let us try out different ways of organising nights to see which are more effective for the LOUD excitement we try to make happen.
You have increased the core members of Loud Poets to 10 different members. Was it difficult assembling this bigger collective of spoken word artists?
A lot of different people were originally on our list, but the core ten are all brilliant performers who are regularly part of our shows and the organising work that goes into it. While a lot of people have helped make Loud Poets happen, the core ten have been key to what we’ve done for the last few years. We are so excited to be presenting their talent to our Fringe crowd.
Inviting guest performers to the stage is a big part of a Loud Poets show. How important is it to you to promote other performers?
It is absolutely key! We have always been all about building a strong and diverse scene spoken word scene. In order to build that scene, we have made sure to invite varied and interesting performers to our shows, encouraged more cross-promotion across events, and more interaction between the scenes in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Loud Poets is not about a few people, but about making spoken word accessible and interesting to larger crowds, and about connecting those crowds with a wide range of performers.
Spoken word performances during the Fringe have increased greatly in the past few years. Why do you think this is?
Spoken word as a genre is really growing in general. We think that is because people are realising just how different spoken word is from the poetry many of us were taught at school. That spoken word can be laugh-out-loud-funny, smart, heartbreaking, sweet, politically challenging and entertaining – all in one go. As audiences are getting access to all of that, and are realising that spoken word has any many styles and genres as music does, it is becoming more and more possible to put on spoken word shows.
Are there any other shows you are looking forward to seeing during this years Fringe?
There are loads of great spoken word shows out there. Catch as many as possible! Several of our core ten are doing their own extremely exciting person shows, including Sara Hirsch and Agnes Török. Some of our special guests are also doing great shows, including Harry Baker, as well as Rachel Amey and Bram E. Gieben as part of SHIFT.