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Come Rhyme with Me - Brighton Fringe 2014 review by Amelia Charman

Come Rhyme with Me, Company: New Writing South
Venue: The Writers' Place, Category: Literature
16 May 19:00 £12.50 (£10, £7.50 Performance only) [3hrs]

Since moving to Brighton nearly two years ago to the day, I have wanted to attend New Writing South's monthly spoken word event, 'Come Rhyme With Me'. Two years is a long time to wait, and is a reflection of just how much I procrastinate, but the wait was worth it!

Hosted by Dean Atta, the most likeable host ever, who kicked off proceedings with his incredibly moving 'I am Nobody's Nigger'. Influenced by the murder of Stephen Lawrence and his own on-going struggle with his love for hip-hop, his words made the audience open their ears and listen. I am writing this review twenty-four hours later and one line in particular is still ringing in my ears- 'Rappers when you use the word nigger, remember that's one of the last words Stephen Lawrence heard, so don't tell me it's a reclaimed word.' Dean Atta's poetry transcends colour, gender and sexuality. It's empowering.

The open mic night left the stage bare for Dionne Elizabeth to read her poem ' Rape'. Oh my lord! it was terrifying, beautiful and cathartic. Rape, or more specifically, child rape is a subject that makes you squirm in your seat and grimace in discomfort. However, Dionne's emotional performance took the audience on a journey back to their eleven year old selves, and you could feel the panic and lack of understanding about the consequences of one man's decision to rid a child of their innocence as if you had experienced it first-hand in her every breath.

For 'starters' Sabrina Mahfouz shared her views on female genital mutilation, further highlighting this international abuse of our young girls. I found Sabrina disarmingly charming on stage, and was caught off guard by her lyrical genius that flow so effortlessly.

Our 'main' meal was award-winning poet and playwright St Lucian Kendel Hippolyte, who transported us to the balmy paradise he calls home with his dulcet, laid-back tones. He read selected poems from his books ' Birthright', ' Night Vision' and ' Fault Lines.' I could have sat and gorged on Kendel's work all evening.

Paul Cree was our final serving of the night, performing poems from his show 'Tales from a Bedsit'. The highlight performer of the night, who told a really sweet story about when he fell for a girl he worked with when he lived in Brighton. His effortless rhyming flow and turn of phrase was incredible and he made it all look so easy!

My only gripe with the evening was that Dean Atta's side-kick Deanna Rodger was not there, and after spending six months searching Youtube for her after witnessing her incredible performance at Brighton's The Blind Tiger Club a year ago I was hoping to see her again.

Thankfully 'Come Rhyme With Me' is a monthly event and I am a bonafide convert.

To buy any of the books by the performers or to find out more about them click on the links below.

Sabrina Mahfouz:

Dean Atta:

Paul Cree:

Amelia Charman - follow on Twitter @ameliacharman1

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