by Paul Cree
Directed by Stef O’Driscoll
Pros: Interesting and candid performance from one of Spoken Word’s up-and-coming stars.
Cons: It would have been nice to have more artists performing, but maybe I’m just greedy!
Our Verdict: A different sort of performance from the usual fare at theatres, but still very entertaining.
|Courtesy of Paul Cree|
A friend of mine recently invited me to a Spoken Word evening near King’s Cross. What’s that, I hear you say? Well it can be many things, but basically it is poetry/prose that’s intended for onstage performance, rather than designed for the page. While it’s sometimes associated with hip-hop culture, it also has strong ties to storytelling, monologue theatre and various forms of music. I really enjoyed that initial Spoken Word evening, as each person’s style of delivery was different, but all spoke from really personal experiences.
As part of the Hipnotic Summer Fest, Hoxton Hall for the past week has been showcasing arts events. On the evening I attended, there was a showcase for the younger members of the Hoxton community, plus what I was most interested in – the Spoken Word segment (A Tale From The Bedsit). The evening began with young members of the Hoxton community performing various sketches, the most memorable being a satirical swipe at newspaper headlines and a sketch that highlighted the struggles that today’s youth have in finding work of any sort.
In A Tale From The Bedsit, Paul Cree related at length about his life – about growing up near Gatwick Airport, being one of the younger members of a large family, and about the sort of things that inspired his creativity. One of the things that impressed me was how candid Cree was about his thoughts and feelings for his family and significant others – something that is not uncommon within the Spoken Word community, but never fails to startle me (in a good way).
In terms of performance style, it was mostly like watching an extended monologue. This isn’t a negative comment. Of course there were certain themes that reoccurred, but for the most part, Cree’s story was told in chronological order. At certain points of the performance, music was used to heighten certain moods, but this was used well, in an unobtrusive fashion.
The audience that evening was made up of all ages and backgrounds. The fact that they all laughed and seemed to appreciate different aspects of the performance showed how universal his experiences were. At the end of the evening, my friend who accompanied me was repeatedly grateful for being invited along. I don’t think Cree could have had better praise than that.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!
A Tale From The Bedsit (part of ‘An Evening Of Drama’ at the Hipnotic Summer Fest) has now finished its run at Hoxton Hall. Find out more abut Paul Cree and future shows here http://www.paulcreewrites.com