At the top of Ian Mcmillan’s show ‘Talking Myself Home’, the poet stated that the whole point was to impart “Joy, Glee, Delight and Happiness” upon the audience, and he certainly kept his promise. I was expecting to see some spoken word poetry. What I got instead was some crazy amalgamation of poetry, stand up comedy, spontaneous song creation and what can best be described as “a good ol’ fashioned knees up”; not what I was expecting. When asked how his show became something that transcended poetry McMillan stated, “Language is an all inclusive thing”, that he didn’t like “a divide between the performer and the audience” and that he “just felt like we could have a good laugh tonight” and it worked a treat.

The sizeable audience (for spoken word) was in stitches from start to finish and, to be honest, the complete randomness and enthusiasm with which McMillan performed was invigorating. I think he did this by creating a rapport with not just the audience themselves, but with the surrounding area, using regional dialect and accent within his poems and constantly referencing places in the local vicinity such as Shepshed and Hinckley. He also joined forces with us audience to create an “epic poem about Loughborough” which I feel should be named “The Giletad”, greatly contributing to the intimate atmosphere of the evening.

Although it was great to see such a large audience enjoying spoken word events, only about 10% of that actually consisted of students, which is a sad reflection of the state of poetry within the general public and the youth in particular. However, with spoken word poets such as PolarBear, George the Poet and Watsky tearing up YouTube with a veritable cornucopia of verse in a contemporary nature, there is no reason why this should be the case anymore. As an alternative to the cinema, going out to eat or even the pub, hit up some spoken word performances, (such as Loughborough’s very own Speech Bubble on the 3rd December. They are usually £5 or under and you get a truly unique performance.

Finally, a note on Ian McMillan. The man’s a very eccentric, Barnsley born hero, who really has to be seen to understood and believed. Most definitely worth a check out!


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