Alissa Anne Jeun Yi is the solo performer of Love Songs. The show is described as “Mixing get on the dance floor music, rap and spoken word.” This is a great description, but the start of the show feels more like a stand up comedy routine, as opposed to a spoken word or musical performance. When the show gets going it is a personal and passionate story of growing up, finding yourself and using art as means of expression. Alissa covers a lot during the performance. We hear about her life in university, her relationships with boys and times with her friends. We also hear about darker periods of her life and a horrific rape. The performer uses her precise and evocative words to describe the incident and uses touching language to express the deep emotions she feels.
The show involves audience participation (where certain audiences members sat in the front row take on various people in Alissa’s Life) and some recitals of poetry, where the topic is love. At times Alissa picks up a microphone and delivers some of her heartfelt poetry. Her words show the naivety of youth, but also her deep and innocent emotions.
Music plays a role in the show with everything from Marvin Gaye to Busted soundtracking the performance. The music adds to the playful nature of Love Songs and gives the performer an excuse to dance. It is Alissa’s enthusiasm and energy which makes the show enjoyable and causes the hour to fly by.
The performance was supported by Camden People’s Theatre and developed through the Soho Writer’s Lab 2018 and is a great example of excellent contemporary spoken word performance. Alissa Anne Jeun Yi is a brilliant performer and a vital and important voice in spoken word. She also has a brilliant and personal story to tell and does so with passion and excitement.