Martin Kiszko is the Poet in Residence for Bristol during it’s year as a European Green Capital. Kiszko’s Fringe show consists of 50 minutes of poetry that looks at various green issues including recycling, endangered species and carbon emissions due to unnecessary travel. He performs in front of a large screen that projects illustrations by Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park.
Green Poems for a Blue Planet is an admirable show as it tackles and highlights many topical and important issues. Kiszko is also an accomplished performer and knows how to draw the audience into his work. He dictates his lines with enthusiasm, as the crowd becomes interested in the content of the poetry through his exaggerated gestures and bold poses. The projected illustrations are straight out of a children’s picture book. They are bright, warm and colourful watercolour sketches that show amusing scenes from the poems.
The show itself feels like it would be more successful in a school workshop, as opposed to the Edinburgh Fringe. If the poetry was delivered with less pace, then Green Poems for a Blue Planet would make a good family friendly kids show. The performance itself is listed in the spoken word section of the Fringe programme and feels very out of place, as the topics are not tackled from a mature or scientific perspective. The illustrations definitely appeal to children and the themes would resonate with a young audience, especially in the method then are delivered. Kiszko is a good poet who relies on rhyme to tell his stories. Green Poems from a Blue Planet will make the audience consider how they treat the environment, but the messages would be more relevant if they were presented directly to children, instead of the audience who turned up to enjoy the show..