Fringe 2017: Kevin McLean, Loud Poet Q&A

The Loud Poets return with a new show of spoken word for the masses, removing pretension and getting loud with video projections and resident band. We grabbed busy bee Kevin for a quick chat to entice you along.

How would you describe your show in one sentence?

Loud Poets is a little bit of everything from the Fringe, giving you comedy, tragedy, live music, dynamic videos, and featuring spoken word artists from Scotland and beyond.

Is this a new show or have you performed it elsewhere?

This is a brand new show we’re debuting at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe.

How many times have you performed at the Fringe before?

We’ve had the pleasure of performing at the Scottish Storytelling Centre at the Edinburgh Fringe three times before, from 2014 through now.

What’s your favourite thing about the Fringe?

Our favourite thing about the Fringe is getting to meet up with performing artists from all around the world, experience their shows, and chat with them about how they make their work. It’s such a great opportunity to network with and learn from other artists.Logo

How have you been preparing for the Fringe? How has the show developed/changed since your original idea?

We’ve been preparing for this year’s Fringe show pretty much since last year’s show closed! We’ve been writing new material and sharing our work within the group to get feedback and ensure our performances are the best they can be.

We’ve also been collaborating with our band, Ekobirds, to compose new accompaniment for these pieces and with our videographer and visuals designer Perry Jonsson to film special projections with Loud Poets founder and performer Callum O’Dwyer.

Preparing for the show is a real team effort which involves bringing together many ideas into one jam-packed hour.

What do you think sets your show apart from all the other Festival offerings?

Spoken word is a category that’s been steadily growing at the Fringe, and it’s a joy to be part of that boom. We think that we showcase some of the best that UK and international spoken word has to offer, not only through our core cast of Scotland-based poets but also our star-studded line-up of guest artists.

Each night we feature a different poet from around the world, including some very big names. We’re also the only spoken word show at the Fringe which performs with a live band, as well as with such extensive visuals.

It’s our hope that showcasing spoken word in such an engaging, dynamic fashion gets not only poetry fans but also folks who may not have experienced spoken word before through the door and enjoying this great art form.

What’s the show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s Fringe?

There’s so much great spoken word on that we’ll be checking out, but one show in particular that we’re looking forward to is Leyla Josephine’s Hopeless. Leyla is an incredible performer and a dear friend. She won our Grand Slam this spring and toured with us to the Prague Festival Fringe in May.

Her show will focus on exploring our origins and finding hope in difficult situations, and to prepare for it she’s walking 50 miles from Crolly, Donegal to Derry – a walk that many Irish immigrants would have made to start new lives in Glasgow. She’s walking not only to gain show inspiration but also to raise money for UK Action for Refugees. We’re so inspired by Leyla and can’t wait to see the show that emerges from this work! She will also be a guest at our show on the 9th of August.

If your show was a place in Edinburgh, which place would it be and why?

Cheesy as it may sound, we’d like to think we’d be the Scottish Storytelling Centre! The SSC truly has become our home, not only in August but year-round. The staff are always so friendly and welcoming, and in the chaos of the Fringe it’s wonderful to perform at a hub which is so supportive and (relatively!) calm.

We love catching the other SSC shows on at the Fringe, as they consistently put out an excellent programme. Plus, we’d like to think our show embodies their ethos of community, excellent performance and innovation!

Loud Poets
Fri 4 – Mon 28 Aug (Not 14, 21)
9pm (1hr), Ages 14+
£10 (£8) (£7.50 SCS)
2 for 1 Mon 7 & Tue 8 Aug

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