Punk poet Rowan James and beatbox performer Marv Radio kick off the show by deconstructing the tick-box labels that come with audience monitoring forms. White, White Other, Black, Black Other, Mixed, Chinese, Other... Read aloud, these labels feel uncomfortable, and whose business is it anyway? Comfort is momentarily found in catch-all tick-box, 'Prefer not to say'.
James and Marv Radio literally bounce off one another, interweaving spoken word, poetry and beatboxing with generous audience interaction to tell the story of how Rowan became a punk poet.
A wonderfully synergistic sequence that embodies both their friendship, the marriage of their artforms and their diversity is inspired by the arrhythmic beat of Rowan's heart.
This crowdfunded show is a show made with love. As the labels and faux norms prescribed by others fell away, we witnessed the birth of an identity from a fusion of music, poetry and the particularities of Rowan's speech. Rowan tells us that a lack of oxygen to his brain at birth resulted in speech and language differences. His art reclaims the medicalised body through performance and I came away feeling a whole lot better about the world.
The show's development is partly supported through Stopgap Dance Company's iF Platform which is showcasing the work of five fringe artists with disabilities, including touretteshero's 'Backstage in Biscuitland' and Jo Bannan's 'Alba'. (EO)
EASY FOR YOU TO SAY, Rowan James, Marv Radio, Cambridge Junction, Stopgap Dance, until August 30th, 4pm, Zoohouse. Venue is wheelchair accessible. https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/rowan-james-easy-for-you-to-say
More on Rowan James: rowanjamespoet.co.uk
Marv Radio's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/marvillmusic
Slate the Disco review: http://slatethedisco.com/2015/05/live-review-easy-for-you-to-say-at-watch-out-festival/
Disability arts online:
Stopgap Dance's iF Platform
Backstage in Biscuitland diagnosis