Inspirational Platforms: Theatre

 

An inspired week

I’m writing this having travelled to Devon for a couple of days break.

The timing is immaculate as the weather has decided to at least pretend Spring is either here or just around the corner. A free upgrade from the hotel’s basic room has been a pleasant surprise, with a balcony with a beautiful estuary view. I shall look forward to relaxing with my camera tomorrow.

I had a couple of inspiring things happen this last week.

Poet’s Platform at Theatre Royal Stratford East

At the weekend I was fortunate to photograph and experience Poet’s Platform at Theatre Royal Stratford East. This was a collection of about 15 poets aged 15 to 25 who had been directed through most of half term plus a few evenings, to write and perform poems in a theatrical styled performance.

To see young performers leave their all on the stage for the audience was simply mind blowing. Any shyness was long gone as the passion of their pieces infected the audience and everybody after the show was totally in awe of the poets.

A reminder of the power our youth have

A few things this year have served to remind me of the power our youth have. It’s been a difficult year with the stereotypes that have shaped how they are perceived, no more so by the way the ‘riots’ were reported in 2011, and how this is shaping the views of British youth. The dedication to art and life that I’ve seen blows this ridiculous imagery out of the water, and we would do well to remember that this is not the generation that has bankrupted the country and the environment.

Let’s be sure we allow fertile ground for them to grow and reshape the world.

Making childhood dreams a reality.

The second inspiring moment is a little more self-indulgent. One thing I always wished I’d done was DJ. I’ve always been passionate for music, and had a decent vinyl collection once upon a time, but I never took the plunge in buying twin-turntables. When I was a teenager, I used to record myself as if a radio dj playing hip hop and funk tunes and I would send these on cassette to a friend of mine in Manchester every now and then. He was a good friend because he told me he liked them. But that was the closest I came to a ‘wheels of steel’ experience.

I always felt that being a DJ was one thing I would have liked to have done that alluded me. I’ve often been asked to play tunes at the start of poetry gigs, and I like to think my iPod and track hopping has served many an ear well.

So imagine my pleasure at being asked to play the music for a new radio show. Let me qualify this though. It’s not totally a music show and I don’t get to talk, but I am the man with his hands on the CD’s, so I shall call that DJ’ing even if that’s an arguable description!

Kat Francois Spoken Word show on Guessradio.co.uk

The show in question is the Kat Francois Spoken Word show on Guessradio.co.uk – here’s the plug every Thursday evening 9 til 11pm (UK time), 4 til 6pm (EST). It’s an exciting venture to bring many of the poetry greats, and those up and coming, to a wider and global audience. Musically, we’re trying to play a variety of tunes from those musicians who often grace the same stages as the poets. Hopefully we can give poets and musicians some exposure.

I got home the other night, pretty pleased with my playlist, and happened to tune into a DJ from New York on the same station. He was mixing old school hip hop so skilfully that I was shouting back at the speakers. Of course that also served as a humbling moment this was a real DJ !!! I have a lot to learn, but it’s going to be fun.

Hope you can tune into www.guessradio.co.uk every Thursday evening to enjoy the rapturous words of the guest poets and when the tunes play, know it’s DJ Sloetry fulfilling another dream!!

Have a great weekend.

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