Bunch Of Fives Keele University
(The Sentinel – 23 January 2008
POETRY can be scary. Those who last encountered it as a dry, unwanted subject at school may baulk at the prospect of two hours of poetry performance. But tucked away in a quiet corner of Keele University, Bunch of Fives entertained with aplomb. Bunch Of Fives are the five poets laureate of Cheshire, from 2003 to the present day - Andrew Rudd, Jo Bell, Joy Winkler, John Lindley and Harry Owen. The performance was set as a boxing match and separated into 'rounds', discussing relationships, places, voices, death and life and friendships. Each poet had their own unique message and style of delivery, making it virtually impossible to pick a favourite. Despite the serious nature of the topics (hats off to anyone who can talk about death without sounding maudlin or blasé), the tone was well-set, with just the right mix of humour and gravity. Bunch Of Fives did not use gimmicks or an unnecessary number of props - there was no scenery bar a couple of paintings, which were put to good use in the second half. It proved that poetry is written to be performed rather than studied and laboured over - and that it doesn't take much more than the spoken word to entertain a room. There was some strong language so it's not really suitable for all the family but anyone with half an interest in poetry should keep an eye out for Bunch Of Fives next time around.
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