This isn't something SMH is involved in, but looks good and it's free. So if you are in London on Saturday, then you could have some free fun on the Southbank. Here are the deets:
The first of three Fresh Off The Page events in the London Literature Festival platforming some of the most exciting emerging and established talent across the spoken word and music scenes. On the same day that Coleridge and Shakespeare are re-examined, Mashing the Classics
presents a tantalising and diverse range of artists giving their own 21st century re-telling of a classic text or story. It features performances from Inua Elams, Nikesh Shukla, Rachel Rose Reid, Maxwell Golden, Kayo Chingonyi, Dzifa Benson & Naomi Woddis, and musicians Dylan Howe & Will Butterworth.
As well as hosting the event, Inua Elams performs Knightwatch, based on the death of Mercutio from Romeo & Juliet. Re-set in a stylised South London estate, the story deals with gun violence, friendship and betrayal against a backdrop urban dystopia. Described as the love child of John Keats and Mos Def, and influenced by classic literature and hip hop, Elams’ work crosses 18th century Romanticism and the West African tradition of story telling with contemporary diction, loose rhyme and rhythm. Poet, author and film-maker Nikesh Shukla brings up to date the classic Indian tale of the Ramayan, taking in poetry, prose and song, and locating it in Forest Gate. Storyteller Rachel Rose Reid’s work consists of mashing and reworking classics so that people hear them afresh. For this show, she tells the story of Persephone, queen of the underworld from Greek mythology.
MC, actor, poet and musician and - until recently - an Emerging Artist in Residence at Southbank Centre, Maxwell Golden reworks Collodi's Pinocchio as a hip-hop inspired performance poetry piece, exploring the desire for legacy and fatherhood, the tensions between father and son, the rebellion of youth, and eventual selflessness and resolution. Fresh young poet Kayo Chingonyi performs a retelling of the Grimm fairytale The Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was, centering on the role of fear in modern life - be that in the media, politics or the personal sphere. Literature consultancy Word Migrants consists of Dzifa Benson and Naomi Woddis, both writers, performers and facilitators. They tell a sassy and thought-provoking modern take on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast and the age old theme of what is taboo.
Live music is provided by Dylan Howe and Will Butterworth, aka Stravinsky Duo. This new collaboration between acclaimed drummer/leader Howe and rising piano star Butterworth presents Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Firebird Suite specially arranged and adapted by the duo for drums and piano.