Manchester is a hotbed of artistic opportunity and this includes the spoken word. Whether you want to perform or just sit back and listen, here is my list of the top 5 regular spoken word nights, from my experience, around the M20 area:
- One Mic Stand – Contact Theatre, Oxford Road
One Mic Stand, run by writers’ collective Young Identity, is one of the most professional and enjoyable events I’ve been to in a long time. An energetic blend of spoken word and music, hip hop is the flavour of the night. But it’s really inclusive – all styles of performance are present, and made to feel welcome. The main event of One Mic Stand is a poetry slam where 8 poets are pitted against each other in the hopes of winning a £50 cash prize. If a slam is not for you, this night still hosts a 20-30 minute improv session where anyone can show their skills. One Mic Stand are sure to give you a night to remember and have by far the most welcoming and interested crowd I’ve seen in any Manchester spoken word event.
Admission: £3 Conc. £6 Full.
Sign up for a spot at the next One Mic Stand by emailing them at: firstname.lastname@example.org (date for the next event is yet to be announced).
For a taster of what the night has to offer check out their Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/youngidentity
- Young Identity – All over Manchester!
Every week, Young Identity hold workshops to help refine young people’s word skills. Open to anyone aged 13-25 with workshops in Rusholme and Longsight on Tuesdays, Cheetham Hill on Wednesdays and every other Saturday at Old Trafford this is one of the best opportunities to keep on improving. Young Identity are some of the most enthusiastic people I’ve had the pleasure to meet and if you’re looking for ways to add something new to your performance-style then here is the place to go! Next up: Tuesday 22nd July, 7pm at Contact Theatre
For more information visit Young Identity’s website at: www.youngidentity.org
- Verbose – Fallow Café, Fallowfield
Verbose is my regular night on the spoken word scene, attracting a relatively small but very interested (and interesting!) crowd. Run by Helen Isserlis this night allows those who are just starting out to find their feet in the spoken word scene. The conversation stays lively throughout the night centered on the performances that switch from emotional engagement, to something as serious as abuse, and then to a hilarious narrative on why exams are so shit. Unfortunately this night is taking a break until September when it will be on every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 8pm onwards.
For more information about the event check out the regularly updated page: https://www.facebook.com/events/385522188257735/
- Manky Poets – Chorlton Library, Chorlton
Manky Poets is a monthly open mic night hosted in Chorlton offering a nice variety of talent. What I valued most about Manky Poets was that on top of the open mic the audience is treated to a special guest performer. This provides a nice contrast between those just starting out in the scene and those who are seasoned performers. At Manky Poets you experience a huge variety of spoken word in one night. Held at Chorlton Library with the next two events planned for the 18th July and 15th August, make sure you get down to this massively creative night (usually held on the 3rd Friday of every month).
Admission: £1 Conc., £2 Full.
Learn more about this event here: http://www.writeoutloud.net/public/eventview.php?day=18&month=07&year=2014&eventID=59
- The Other Room – Castle Hotel, Northern Quarter
The Other Room is a brilliant experimental poetry night. Whilst it doesn’t give you an opportunity toperform many of my friends liked the fact you could just sit back and enjoy the wide variety of performers on offer. On my first visit I enjoyed the poetry of Chris Stephenson among others. It opened my eyes as to just how varied poetry can be. If you’re looking to broaden your poetry-know-how without feeling like you have to perform The Other Room is for you! The next event is set for 13th August.
To find out information about the next The Other Room look no further: http://otherroom.org/
For other Manchester literature events check out Write Out Loud’s calendar updated regularly: http://www.writeoutloud.net/events/
– Alex Webb