Loughborough University Arts spoken word mic-night, Speech Bubble, returned for its third and final outing of the academic year on Monday May 14 and what a way to bow out.

With performances from professionals, Kate Fox and Mark Grist, as well as students and Loughborough locals, this collaborative effort to support spoken word demonstrated the high demand for live literature on campus. 

Once again tables and chairs were dragged from Piazza to Cogs to create a cosy, cabaret vibe, perfect for hosting spoken word. The small spot-lit stage became the focus for the audience, which comprised a diverse mix of students, staff and members of the local community.

The evening kicked off with ten of Loughborough’s finest, and when the open-mic section of the evening was announced there was no shortage of volunteers. 

Each performance was unique in both its content and delivery, from the dulcet tones of lovelorn lyrics and identity inspired verse, to comic social commentaries and musical rap parodies. 

Following the popular open-mic slots, professional performance poet (and hero to many of the students), Mark Grist, took to the stage and entertained the audience with his clever, comic rhymes.

Starting out as an English teacher, he adopted the role of Poet Laureate of Peterborough in 2008, and has gone on to enjoy huge success in the world of performance poetry, both in his own right and alongside creative partner, MC Mixy, who makes up the second part of comic double act, Dead Poets.

Grist’s set went down a treat and he even managed to share some of his new, untested material before he takes it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this year. 

The final act of the night was ex-Loughborough student and stand up poet, Kate Fox. Since graduating 16 years ago, Kate has performed everywhere from The Stand comedy clubs to the Eden Project to the Edinburgh and Prague Fringe festivals, but she returned to the bubble to dish out a diverting dose of poetry.

She even engaged in a duet with one audience member using a ukulele iPhone app, demonstrating the versatile, impromptu nature of spoken word.  

Kate’s quirky, interactive performance provided the perfect finale. The entire night was a huge success and showed indisputably that spoken word not only lives in Loughborough, it thrives! 

Speech Bubble plans to return again at the beginning of next year.


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