Out In South London presented QUEER’SAY in association with Apples and Snakes at Rich Mix, and I had the pleasure of seeing the show. Featuring at the show was AJ McKenna, Ernesto Sarezale, and Dominic Berry, and the host was the award-winning comedian and Radio 4 regular Rosie Wilby.
It was an interesting space for spoken word, i’m used to poetry in pubs, so it was nice to be in a different environment. The three features were each unique with something different to offer, and once each poet had performed there was a short interview and an opportunity for audience questions, which allowed us to delve a little bit more into the poets’ world.
Rosie was a lovely and relaxed host who had some great questions to ask each of the poets. The name of the show is catchy and clever, and it was entertaining to hear that Verbal Diaqueer was a potential title option too!
Trans woman AJ McKenna uses her blend of comedy, zeal and vulnerability to challenge inequality in her poetry. She makes us consider elements of sexuality, gender and daily life. The combination of spoken word and activism is admirable, it’s great to see creative people use their talents to talk about things that should be talked about and disputed in imaginative ways.
Ernesto Sarezale added something a little bit different to his poetry and bravely removed all of his clothes as part of his performance (being an LGBTQ event it was quite funny to notice the reactions of the lesbians in audience). His interest and talents in cabaret obviously make his poetry that bit more original, and experimenting with performance is always something I will appreciate. He additionally had some audience interaction with one of his pieces based around Catholicism, and participation is always a successful way to keep the audience interested, which he did excellently.
Dominic Berry was the highlight of the night for me. He has such a friendly and sweet demeanour, and he is also fiercely talented. His poetry was incredible and he had the audience really focussed. His video game poetry was accompanied by video game sounds which he used as the beat to his poem, which I really enjoyed. He writes both children and adult poetry, showing that he has a true flair for creating work for different audiences. He is clearly a passionate performer full on energy and enthusiasm which is infectious.
Overall the event was a success, and it’s great to have a place for poetry within the LGBTQ community. I’ll be sure to check out the poets again at any upcoming gigs, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more poetry based events at Rich mix too!