Saturday, 31 May 2014

Loewenmouthy - a reflection. Notingham Playhouse. Neville Studio

Less of a review - more of a reflection.

I went to the neat14  Loewenmouthy poetry based event for a few reasons;

Being part of a twining event with two theatres in Karlsruhe has allowed me many opportunities to become friends with many people from this beautiful German city since I first went in 2006 and to share with them a mutual love of theatre. This is a practice that I love and has embedded itself deeper and deeper in my heart and soul as the years have gone by. I count the people of the Jakobus Theatre and Theater Die Kaeuze as some of my truest friends. So much so that I now go to perform on my own, separately to our biannual events, and I am going this December to perform a show partly in English and partly in German. Nervos? Ein bischen.

The mixed language in the poetry I heard in Loewenmouthy by young people from all countries, whether from Sara in the Lebenon or Iony Smallhorne's sympathetically done poetical video has given me renewed inspiration to continue with this and have new ideas for development. Thank you.

I went along to hear some German spoken and I did. This was by a young man called Alan Husakowski whose first language wasn't German. In fact my understanding is that when Deborah Stevenson of Mouthy Poets went to Germany he had spoken very little German and yet (on video) we have him expressing himself very well in both languages through poetry. Inspirational.

I came away from Loewenmouthy full of great admiration for the work of the two groups and the appreciative audience that both support and enhance the possibilities of language, that on a weekly basis encourage 15-30 year olds to create, learn writing skills, editing and develop event co-ordination skills. Anything that Mouthy Poets does to develop a passion for expression through vocabulary and allows young people to present their feelings poetically both live and through digital means should be championed. I loved the fact that the young men were actively encouraged to talk and present their feelings through their own poetry and was impressed with the depth of feelings from the young women from across the world. As for Deborah 'Debris' Stevenson. Superb! I will never see a Starbucks coffee cup in the same light again.

They talk about poetry 'speaking to your heart'. Joshua Judson, I was hearing every word of your poem below and I was with you every syllable. Excellent.

The Braunschweig group #Loewenmaul (Lion's Mouth) is a similar group in the German city we know as Brunswick. Their age group is 13-30 and together they speak more than five languages and come from more than five countries from around the world and now live in Braunschweig.

The laudable Loewenmouthy project was launched by Deborah Stevenson and Anne Hartmann at the State Theatre in Braunschweig in September 2013. Loewenmaul had their first show in March 2014 as part of an intercultural festival. We heard tonight that they are currently creating a book of stories for children in cooperation with a local organisation for political education.

Phil Lowe (or is that Loewe?)

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