There are NO full time spoken word reviewers. There wouldn’t be enough shows to sustain one day-a-week reviewing, let alone pay the bills full time. In fact there are only a couple of three full time comedy journalists out there. The genres are simply not big enough. However, there are some reviewers who really know their stuff. They come to watch every single show going and are able to make considered opinions based on a wide knowledge of the genre.
When it comes to spoken word/poetry shows Natasha Tripney is top of the pile for me. She’s been reviewing Aisle16’s shows since 2004 and has, to my knowledge, reviewed a good chunk of the new spoken word shows that went to Edinburgh last year. I value her opinions and therefore pay special attention to her yearly reviews of my work.
So obviously I’m chuffed with her latest review on musicomh.com for Cynical Ballads. I think Natasha really got what I was trying to do with the show: take sterotypes, make them my own, and also to try and paint something more positive beyond the satire. You can read the full review here. Below are the bits I’ll have tatooed on my back (or something like that)
“The humour is subtler and darker in tone, slow burning and shot through with startling imagery. Wright can encapsulate a character with one carefully honed and striking phrase and is unafraid of letting his anger at social injustice and inbalance bleed through into his work … There’s cynicism here all right, a sense of bleakness and evident frustration, but there’s beauty and hope too.”