The magic of the spoken word, that’s what we were all there for as we piled into the upstairs of The Old Rectifying House (North Parade, Worcester) which greeted us with a wonderfully ‘shabby chic’ atmosphere. Its battered leather sofas, velvet drapes and softly twinkling chandeliers all helping set the mood for a brilliant evening!
We experienced a huge variety of performances, some comical, some moving, with topics ranging from a ring you would definitely not wish to buy on eBay, a snipers last mission in Afghanistan and a group of men who live in the woods, eternally preparing for ‘The End’. There were works which had been derived from games of consequences or inspired by as little as noticing a piece of junk mail one day. One poem was formed by ‘Worcester Voices’ simply walking around Worcester and combining all the elements of what they saw. Every piece had something marvellous to offer and as was said on the night, there truly was ‘something for everyone’.
There was even a special guest speaker all the way from Australia, who I was lucky enough to be sat next to, Helen Ramoutsaki.
The piece she did was beautiful, set in the wonderful tropics she evoked magical scenes of ‘dragons’, ‘mountains’ and ‘lakes’ and the clatter of the sugar cane train. It was an incredible performance as her language and imagery, not to mention sound effects and hand gestures, were really effective in creating the scenes which she spoke of right in front of our eyes. I was lucky enough to grab a few words with her:
Writing poetry since the age of 7 and always having a love of telling stories, which she thinks must have been inherited from her Grandfather, Helen Ramoutsaki was delighted when she found she could combine the two in the form of ‘performance poetry’ and hasn’t looked back since. She delights in being able to ‘embed the poem’ within a story and play around with the fixed form of the writing contrasted to the fluidity of language. She claims her inspiration tends to come at ‘random flashes’ where she must quickly ‘jot things down’ but what inspires her most is the environment, both of ‘people and of nature’. On first moving to the tropics, that change in both the climate and community which she found there was what really set in motion the fantastic piece we heard that evening. Currently working with a dramatist at the Jute Theatre (Cannes), this is Helen’s first time in Worcester, where she is greatly enjoying her stay and ‘looking forward to seeing the Cathedral’. On behalf of the Worcestershire Literary Festival, once again, we thank you for coming to perform for us.
Article by Kate Lakie