Saboteur awards voting is open till Thursday March 31st 2022:
Please vote for Too Pretty To Punch for best spoken word show or, failing that, here are:
My top 3 favourite spoken word shows I've seen in the past year They're listed in no particular order I'll be happy as long as any of us win. So give one of us your vote:
Outlier by Malaika Kegode
An incredible gig theatre and spoken word experience that starts off as a gorgeous comforting gentle journey through friendship and struggle and then catapults you with emotions on a rollercoaster of life, loss and connection. It also has wicked projections from the amazing Chris Harrisson
It's on again at Bristol Old Vic in September 2022: https://bristololdvic.org.uk/whats-on/outlier
Dry Season by Kat Lyons
Kat is a vibrant, explosive, wonderful performer in this incredible spoken word show that takes you through the twisting-your-life-upside-down world of menopause. It's ridiculous that there's so much shame and stigma about talking about natural female experiences and Kat rips the door off that shame with delicious poetry and heart gripping feels. It's amazing too how many comparisons I found with their struggles and trans experiences. I related a lot.
It also features fab projections from me in the form of the Duvet Days short film we collaborated on last year: https://youtu.be/uIyU-MYTT3A
I think there's one tour date left, on April 16th in Exeter so if you're local then snap up those tickets: https://exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/dry-season/
Dancing To Music You Hate by Jasmine Gardosi
I love their poetry so much. I saw this show (another gig theatre extravaganza) at Verve Poetry & Spoken Word Festival last month and it blew my mind. Cracking open gender boxes with the deliciousest mix of word banquets, beatboxing, soundscapes and tasty tasty jazz (I meant the music, but also I guess the performer). It was such an exhilarating show to see.
I had a chip on my shoulder about the Saboteur awards for a while as I didn't know much about them but they were an awarder of spoken word performers and I consider myself quite good at that and had never had a look in. I imagined that like much of the poetry and theatre worlds there was some elusive panel of judges you needed to be in with in order to stand a chance but last week I discovered that actually it's just an open public vote each year. It was such a relief! All that outsider baggage I've been carrying around on my shoulders is just sloughing off onto the floor and I'm sweeping it up and putting it in the recycling.
My initial thought was a strong "vote for me" and I looked at the form and it said "Shows first performed before 30th March 2021 are permitted, but there must have been a significant outing since that date." I've been touring Too Pretty To Punch for 4 years so it's less new but I've just finished a big 9 venue tour from June 2021 - Feb 2022 and I've decided it's the last time I'll tour it. Plus it's never been nominated for anything before.
But as I was thinking through all of this I remembered the incredible spoken word shows I've seen this past year - amazing considering so little has been open - and I just wanted to use this as an opportunity to celebrate these beautiful works of art that I've had the honour to experience (and that I hope you all get to experience too when they're on tour).
If you've not had a chance to see Too Pretty To Punch, the online version is available for £2.99 (or pay what you want) here: