Four heavyweight performance poets take it in turns to grapple the English language
Monday 4 May 2009
Aberdeen Arts Centre [Map]
Ash Dickinson on stage at Aberdeen Arts Centre
Photo by Shade Wizard
On a damp Monday evening in Aberdeen, there's nothing like a bit of Demented Eloquence
to liven things up. Ash Dickinson, Johnny Fluffypunk, Milton Balgoni and Rapunzel
Wizard brought their virtuosity to town in a display of verbal dexterity with a
tag-team format — one poet one poem, then swiftly on to the next. This was
a risk but it paid off handsomely, bringing out the contrasting styles of the four
poets — both in writing and in delivery — and emphasising the richness
and variety on offer. Unless you were hoping for large sweaty men in leotards, you
won't have been disappointed.
The evening was loosely structured around three themes — Modern Life, People,
and The Surreal — but that allowed plenty of leeway, and plenty of leeway
was taken. Under which of those headings, for instance, would you address the question
of extraterrestrials and their TV licences? Meditate on the hazards and seductions
of ownership, and of non-ownership? Take the Moon to a party? Explore the theological
dimensions of dog mess? Celebrate and mock intoxication, fashion, teenage angst,
and the last great male bastion that is The Shed? Or propose a new Scottish National
Anthem that would make Alec Salmond's hair curl (what's left of it)?
The lyrical, the satirical, the pastoral, the romantic and the downright bizarre:
the range of poetic moves on display was impressive, and a capacity audience was
alarmed, charmed, and thoroughly entertained.