Imogen Stirling is a poet, spoken word artist and performer. Her debut show #Hypocrisy looks at different forms of privilege and was first performed at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018 at the Scottish Poetry Library. Tonight Imogen is bringing #Hypocrisy to the CCA in Glasgow and has invited two support acts to open the event.
First up is Glasgow poet and performer Victoria McNulty. Her poems have a strong Glaswegian voice and are deeply rooted in the East End of the city. She covers important and vital topics from a passionate perspective. Victoria’s solo performance Confessionals is at the Tron Theatre later this month and tackles sectarianism and domestic abuse. Victoria McNulty is a fantastic poet and performer and sets a defiant and uplifting tone. Solo musician/storyteller The Narcissist Cookbook is up next. He also performs a short and enjoyable set that waves seamlessly between storytelling and song. He performs with only a guitar and his voice and tells stories of Adam, Eve, apples, discovery and ghosts.
#Hypocrisy tells Imogen’s personal story of her time busking across Europe and encountering aggressive border guards and other people of authority. We hear of occasions when she has experienced privilege due to her background and race, whilst others are not so fortunate. The story progresses to take in terrorist attacks and stories of compassion, ignorance and justice. Imogen is joined onstage by two musicians (Ross Somerville on guitar and Finnie Welsh on percussion) who add to the drama of the show and provide a subtle and delicate soundtrack.
The show itself is finely paced with the music and words working in tandem and complimenting one another. However, #Hypocrisy feels at its most poignant and powerful when the performer directly addresses imperative and essential issues. She questions her own privilege and is aware that being able to do so is indeed a privilege in itself. As a performance this perspective could cause the show to fall flat on its face and end up being too self-referential. But the earnest quality of the script and the passionate, and at times intense delivery of the words, make #Hypocrisy feel worthwhile and poignant. The constant shifting of the scenario from one place to another gives the show a meandering sense of location and makes the performance feel like a journey.
#Hypocrisy is an incredibly earnest show that never loses sight of its point of view. It does a good job of looking at the massive issues of compassion, ignorance and privilege in an honest and passionate way.