Spoken Word To Hit The Big Stage
When the League of Extraordinary Poets (LXP) take to the Frank Collymore Hall stage on Tuesday, March 11, it will be a rare sight for Barbados. The hour and fifteen minute long show entitled Word! Sound! Power! is a free sunset concert hosted by the Hall and presents for the first time, on this scale, a spoken word only event.
This eclectic event gives a taste of the diversity of the spoken word talent that is available in Barbados and is comprised of seasoned artistes such as Adrian Green and D. J. Simmons as well as up and coming poets such as Adaeze, Kerry-ann Waithe, Robert Gibson and Empress Zingha – masters of the lyrical craft with the ability entertain, educate and inspire with their words on stage and on paper.
This show places spoken word on the big stage in Barbados exposing the art form and its artists to a wider audience than usual. Director of LXP, Katherine Felix, was determined to land spoken word on this stage and pursued this opportunity for over two years before being able to secure this date.
“A show of this magnitude has great potential to expose spoken word and our artists to a wider cross-section of the Bajan public to the regulars at open mics and smaller events around the island. Being an all spoken word event on Barbados’ premier performance centre gives our artists the opportunity to shine as well as show the audience how diverse the art form is on the island,” she explained.
A one-of a kind event in Barbados, this is the first step in creating and maintaining a consistent presence for spoken word in the mind of the Barbadian audience. Featuring promising artists such as Serenity, Chaitali Soudatt, Damani Re and Lamarr Coward, Word! Sound! Power! provides an eye-opening evening of entertainment to thrill and educate the audience.
According to Felix, who is a poet and visual artist, “This show breaks new ground for many of our artistes. Many of us get our greatest exposure from the NIFCA stage. Therefore, to perform in this space with no judges higher than the audience’s appreciation feels great and gives us the opportunity to display our talents and work together to accomplish something not done previously.”
This event also hopes to forge a link between Barbadian and Trinidadian artistes as the first phase of connecting with other regional art spaces. Special guest Keegan Maharaj was added to the line-up as a first step to forming these ties. A founder of Freetown Collective, a gathering of poets and lyricists from the twin-island republic, Keegan is known for his performing prowess.
Director Matthew Murrell , CEO of Yardie Boy Theatre, has been working alongside the poets to craft performances that force them to step out of their comfort zone and elevate their presence on stage. With his direction, this show will present the art form in a way not usually associated with spoken word in Barbados.
“You will be the first person to have a performance like this in Barbados,” he has told several of the artists.
The stage is set for artistes like Inity Fyah and Triple X to excite the audience in this show that starts at 6:15 p.m. and gives over an hour of quality performances that will leave the hall asking for more.