Something I was both impressed and surprised by last night was how supportive the audience was to performers who stumbled, slipped or forgot their place. Not that the audience was docile, in fact they some of them kept a running dialogue with performers throughout the show, but they never jumped on artists who made mistakes. It might seem like a small thing to notice but it contributed to a very laid back atmosphere, a blessing when you have about sixty people in a room the size of a birdbath.
Scott Thompson, one of the highlights from “Tongues of Fire” didn’t disappoint as he again treated audiences to his work “Blackbird” as well as another piece about love and loss in the frigid wasteland of Winnipeg. Though he describes himself as a beginner whose words are simple and “less than seven letters” his imagery is clear and those “simple” words are often powerful.
Burnaby native Nat Spadez, another relative newcomer to the spoken word arena, spoke from the heart about bad friends, hopeful love and the cretinous border guard who gave her hassle because of the way she dressed. Just in case you needed another reason to be pissed off at CBSA. It was a real pleasure to hear the passion in her voice and see her come alive in a way I felt she hadn’t at “Tongues of Fire”.
In defiance of all known wisdom, Dr. Andre Prefontaine managed to make his home city of Calgary sound appealing. He also took aim at a brain-dead grief counselor in a funny and cutting routine based on the idea of being a Gay Indian Chief. The man deserves a shout-out not only for his verbal dexterity but for his ability to wring laughter from the word “poufter” without the aid of a British accent.
Victoria’s Jeremy Loveday closed out the night with “Canada, Come Home“, a passionate cry out to a country that he sees as having strayed from the things that made it great. It was a fun, hopeful piece that made for a fitting coda to the evening.
Tonight is the final night of the Victoria Spoken Word Festival and promises to be one to remember – all the poets will be performing a show they composed in a single day. Come out to the Intrepid Theatre Club at 1609 Blanshard. Tickets are $10 at the door and I advise you to come early as seats filled up quickly last night.
See you there,
Brennan Storr writes the blog Largely the Truth