The Verse’s Tamara Stidwell headed down to the Komedia to find out what this poetry-comedy mash up is all about.
Brighton is the centre of hip-hop, slam, dunk and linguistic dribbling sport! It also loves a bit of good old fashioned laughter (definitely needed in today’s tragic times!). So it only makes sense to dabble in both worlds and bring the land of laughter and lyric together.
Indeed this is the moral behind poetry coup, Stand Up and Slam, who are currently in rotating monthly residence at the Komedia. “Hate comedy? Find poets a bore? Leave your preconceptions at the door!” Just like their mantra, they aim to bury the overcooked Shakespearean sausages, blow out the woeful candle on poetry clichés and bring people together for the love of having a good, enjoyable and frankly silly night out. Bought to life by four quirky folks, after rubbing their humour-hands across the Uk, they’ve clearly rubbed everyone up the right way, receiving high praise at Leicester Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Fringe.
I love a good poetry night at the Komedia, I’ve been to both Hammer and Tongue nights – that make you sit on the edge of each stanza – and a charity ‘Poemathon’ in December, where national and refugee poets poured their hearts into every word to raise £20,000 for the refugee crisis (an amazing achievement). Cushioned in the Komedia cave, Stand Up and Slam was another great exhibition of talent, with yet again, excellent audience participation. As six comedic acts went head to head, love was reciprocated in laughter as votes were cast from the fun-damentalists. Many of these poets I have had the pleasure of seeing before, and it was nice to reminisce on Sean McLoughlin’s awkward look at life and hear Robin Lawley delve into diachronic Dickensian debauchery.
Hosted by Tom Houghton (Formerly of The Noise Next Door) and Oli Forsyth (‘painfully funny’ The Scotsman), this was an excellent night for anyone with a sense of humour or a loss of sense, where poets from across the country “mash up the two art forms in an epic battle of spoken word”. And after side-splitting, wine-spilling entertainment this January, I am definitely looking forward to the next gig on the 15th February.
To buy tickets, at only £5 for students, head to the Komedia website here. Doors open at 7:30 pm.