Francesca Beard, wordsmith and Queen of British performance poetry, joins local spoken word artists for an evening in search of the truth. Come to The Spring and make sense of a world of Brexit, “alt-right” and “woke”.
Francesca Beard speaks of an era where appeals to emotion or personal belief outweigh the objective facts.
It’s a frightening place where a rabble-rouser seizes power. He lies, spreads hate and from the resulting chaos and confusion, seizes power.
This is not a history lesson about Hitler or Stalin. Francesca’s world is post-2016 and the demagogue in question is Donald Trump.
“A major difference is this tyrant has the power to destroy the planet through his environmental policies,” she tells The Source.
Hold up a moment. Sounds a bit serious, not to say controversial… Aren’t you going to amuse and entertain visitors to The Spring through the power of the “spoken word”?
“Yes, I hope so,” she said. “Anyone who comes to a spoken word show is likely to be fully conscious of how bad our situation is already, so it’s hopefully a case of coming together and sharing a laugh.”
And according to Francesca, you, the audience will have self-selected and be “interesting, witty and sharp”.
Which is just as well as there’s an interactive element to Francesca Beard’s Post-truth Apocalypse.
“I make it my business to create moments where the audience can play a role in the show,” she said. “It’s often the best bit, it feels authentic. It’s risky in the best way.”
Francesca’s show will explore truth, political spin and even those half-truths we’ve all muttered to save face or feelings.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the notion of truth, how we understand and make sense of the world through words. But words are made up, they have no intrinsic relationship to the sun or pain or grass or time and space.”
She added: “Lying is part of normal human development. Early lying is a marker of intelligence in children. Stories are a kind of lie, story-tellers manipulate or create a new reality for their own ends.”
As well as having you, the interesting, witty and smart, Francesca will be joined by three of Hampshire’s finest spoken word artists. Stewart Taylor, Duncan Green and Prince Brandon are appearing courtesy of The Front Room, which promotes performance poetry, open mic nights and live music across the region.
They’ll be continuing the theme and presenting work on the subject of fake news.
Inevitably, and as prescient today as it was in the post-truth year of 2016, Francesca says the words “Brexit”, “alt-right” and “woke” may also get a look-in.
If you’re still not convinced this is for you, Francesca makes a rather bold claim about her show. “It will change your life and make you a stronger person,” she said.
Truly? Come and find out.