Spoken word

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One to watch: Emmeline
The young Yorkshire slam poet – daughter of Simon Armitage – has teamed up with ace producer Fraser T Smith on her beguiling first EP

Damien Morris

03, Dec, 2022 @2:00 PM

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Jews. In Their Own Words review – appalling revelations in a gallop through centuries of bigotry
Jonathan Freedland has turned 180,000 words drawn from interviews into a potent verbatim play about antisemitism and the blindspots of liberal institutions. The results feel urgent – but is its remit simply too large?

Arifa Akbar

28, Sep, 2022 @10:59 PM

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Luke Jerram: Crossings; David Batchelor: Colour Is – review
The estate’s lake hosts an audio boating experience that’s at once tranquil and shattering. Indoors, a retrospective of the Scottish artist is a riot of repurposed colour

Kate Kellaway

14, Aug, 2022 @12:00 PM

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Today I Killed My Very First Bird review – a gangster’s life laid bare
In an atmospheric staging, with poetic dialogue, Jason Brownlee sketches the cruel twists of a violent and abusive London childhood

Mark Fisher

04, Aug, 2022 @11:49 AM

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Nick Cave: Seven Psalms review – yearning for mercy and grace
Cave’s grief continues in spoken-word form, with lovesick prayers – and glimmers of respite

Kitty Empire

03, Jul, 2022 @8:00 AM

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Nick Cave & Warren Ellis: Seven Psalms review – intimate prayers of extreme power
Backed by reverberant synths and piano, Cave wrestles with faith and civil unrest in this powerful 25-minute release

Alexis Petridis

30, Jun, 2022 @11:00 AM

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A moment that changed me: I watched my mother dance in nipple tassels on TV – and my heart swelled with pride
Growing up it was my brother I wanted to copy, but watching my mother’s performance taught me to be brave

Adam Farrer

15, Jun, 2022 @6:00 AM

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Sinead O’Brien: Time Bend and Break the Bower review – a lack of imaginative verve
The post-punk Irish poet’s debut album never quite lifts off

Damien Morris

12, Jun, 2022 @2:00 PM

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John Waters: False Negative review – the 'sultan of sleaze' at the Barbican
Barbican, London
The veteran film-maker is on fine form in this motor-mouthed show, which mixes slick anecdotes with gleeful transgression

Brian Logan

12, Jun, 2022 @11:20 AM

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‘It’s just love in there, it’s nuts’: freedom and verse at the Bankstown poetry slam
Australia’s biggest event of its kind returned in a raucous testament to how people can come together

Mostafa Rachwani

13, Mar, 2022 @4:30 PM

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Blackhaine: the bleak, brilliant Lancashire rapper-dancer hired by Kanye West
With references ranging from drug users to the Japanese avant garde, Tom Heyes has transcended a dull life in the north-west through explosive choreography and streams of consciousness

Michael Lawson

18, Jan, 2022 @3:00 PM

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Artist and stutterer JJJJJerome Ellis: ‘So much pain comes from not feeling fully human’
The New Yorker has released an astonishing, must-listen project: The Clearing, a poetic musical rumination on how ‘disfluent’ speech can articulate a new way of living

Kadish Morris

10, Nov, 2021 @11:55 AM

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