Situated in the airy surrounds of the Scottish Poetry Library, For Books Sake present That’s What She Said, a Spoken Word Night exclusively featuring women. Kicking off the night is Emmy Fyles who performs an extract from her Fringe show, Live Your Best Life. Her set is a witty examination of the falsehood of believing everything you see on Instagram hashtags. In trying to #liveherbestlife, she finds herself attending a service at the Vestry Road Spiritualist Church whose website elicits confusing answers to questions you can’t imagine anyone asking.
After quipping about what it’s really like to work with Jeremey Corbyn, Chloe Green delves right into dating as a radical feminist left wing lesbian and just how much an orgy should cost; Expensive being less concerning than cheap. Chloe is a natural performer, never fazed by unexpected visitors, and keeps the room laughing with high spirited set.
Afshan D’Souza Lodhi then steps onto the stage with an apology, tonight she does have her usual attire and prop for her performance poem, Lesbian Terrorist. For those wondering, she usually has a niqab and a vibrator. Afshan’s poetry is at times touching and hilarious and is deeply insightful into hidden cultures. This is especially expressed in Mother Tongue, where she decries the loss of little spoken languages.
All the Hidden Truths, is the debut novel from Claire Askew and an extract is read by the author. Claire’s writing comes to life in her telling of a young detective’s first day in her role. The character responds to a call and then finds herself at the site of a school shooting where she is the most senior officer on hand. The short extract leave the audience wondering the detective’s next steps.
Up next is Rosie Garland performing a selection of her poetry, which covers childhood dreams, lovers and surreal unicorns. The pivotal poem of her set is about Colonel Victor Barker’s wife’s testimony at his trial, when it was revealed that the Colonel was female. His wife did not denounce him, as expected, which Rosie expresses admiration for during her performance.
Headlining the evening is Jenny Lindsay, performing poetry from her Fringe show This Script and Other Drafts. Jenny explains the show was written from a place of rage and trauma and there are ‘no laughs’ here. Certainly there is an undercurrent of feeling running through the poems she performs, and there were definitely laughs in a couple of them. Her found poem based on comments on PornHub videos is well received and bitter laughs are heard in Feminism and Capitalism Go Out For a Dram.
That’s What She Said is spoken word at its finest, gathering a diverse group of extremely talented voices and letting them get on with it. For Books Sake is a small operation reminiscent of a family business, run with a lot of love. They are currently expanding outside London to host nights in Bristol, hopefully Edinburgh will be next on their list.