I Stopped...When Presented by Acquah & Co
What is it?
An in-depth exploration of race in Britain, through the medium of slam poetry and the divide within minorities.
What's it all about?
It is London's biggest Slam Poetry Competition and three poets take the stage for their chance at the prize. The raw and revealing nature of these poems are a stark difference to these young people's backstage personas and it is in these interactions true emotion and ideals are revealed. The differences between the styles of each poet is deliberately obvious, as we begin to understand the turmoil that these young creatives experience. From the gentle Adele (Lauren La Rocque), the goofy Wren (Tom Nguyen) and the strong activist Naya (Nicole Acquah) these three face challenges that are impacted much more heavily because of their race.
How did it make me feel?
A brilliant concept, with interesting relationships and important messages about interracial dating, the power within these relationships and the strength that comes the said as well as the unsaid. However, there are a few small, distracting moments that take away from this otherwise great show. At times the writing feels stilted and clumsy, and performances seem slightly forced which takes the audience out of the otherwise wonderful moments. It is clear though that with some dramaturg and polishing this show could absolutely soar on its strong ideals and concept.
Some of the most exciting and illuminating moments come from the poetry itself, with the most powerful coming from the final poem in which all three poets join forces and perform one final piece that gives a middle finger to the people that place importance on other people's relationships and ideologies.