Pros: Vibrant enthusiasm, powerful stories.
Cons: The usual pitfall of such a composite show: that tone can vary greatly from performer to performer.
There are many great spoken word nights in the capital, catering for every different vibe you could imagine. With all the competition it can be difficult to choose on over another, but Out-Spoken distinguishes itself as an excellent night brimming with quality and passion, and a night to which spoken word performers can aspire.
A mix of poetry, hip hop and music, there’s a bit of something for everyone here, and always a bit of something different. Neither overly stuffy nor self-consciously edgy, it strikes a comfortable and enticing mix that is reassuringly genuine. You can be assured of quality, as there are some real heavyweight performers regularly stepping into the lights, but there’s also the opportunity of discovering new voices with open mic slots.
The Forge claims to be “home to London’s most diverse musical talent’ and that certainly holds true as Out-Spoken showcases performers with a diverse range of backgrounds and subject matter. There were moments of light humour and general giggles, swiftly followed by an emotional intensity in the acts that utterly blew me away. Amongst the hard-hitters of the night was poet Joelle Taylor’s frank and inspiring confessions that put me through the emotional wringer, while Jack Flash brought a gorgeous music medley of storytelling through rap guitar and piano. Enjoying each piece so wholly, it can feel a bit of a switch to have to suddenly move into a new mode as the acts come on thick and fast leaving you very little time to recover.
Personally I feel some of the sets run a little long, but admittedly this is a criticism that I would have of most spoken word events, and I’d prefer a bit more of a break between performers different works and between the performers themselves. However, that said, I’d be loathe to cut a minute from the overall session.
The Forge is a great location for this kind of event. Half bar, half theatre, the Forge gives whichever atmosphere you’d prefer, and I’d fully recommend taking one of the comfortable seats at the back to relax with your drink rather than the slightly formal everyone-sitting-in-rows in front of the stage.
On every month in Camden’s The Forge, Out-spoken is a vibrant and eclectic spoken word night that is well worth a visit.
Performers: Joelle Taylor, Jo Bell, David J, Jack Flash, Mowgli
Box Office: 020 7383 7808
Booking Link: https://uk.patronbase.com/_Forge/Productions/YT/Performances
Booking Information: Monthly