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A grungy little gem for poetry fans on a Sunday night


Review by Allison Browning

WHAT a grungy little gem I stumbled across! Jerkbeast, at The Foundry pub.

Among the haphazard old couches in this rundown pub lies a theatrical poetry night, on Sundays.

Upon entering, one might think to one's self, 'oh crap! another bunch of poetic drunk wankers'.

This place does have an open mike, so there is every chance you will catch the regular worm lady reciting poetry about wormwood and the like.

But among the questionable poets, there are some absolute diamonds in the rough!

This is the place where anything goes, and anyone can attempt to capture the mixed bunch of audience members' attention.

Part of the night's entertainment will come from the reactions of support or good natured heckling from the audience.

Part of the entertainment will certainly come from the drinking (definitely makes some of the readings more bearable!).

And, very importantly, part of the night's entertainment will come from from the fact that the audience is as much part of the theatricality of this poetry night as the performer is.

And if the readings are bad, you can rely upon a good reaction to the call of 'last drinks'.

The place looks like a bit of a tip, but this is the appeal. It creates a non-pretentious, supportive, open-minded atmosphere, where everyone is part of the event.

There is a piece of art everywhere, with dolls hanging from the roof, and printed poetry pasted to ceiling and walls.

Don't forget to bring a pen (if you can brave their toilets - tip for the ladies: bring some tissues with you) as downstairs, in and around the toilets, you can write your personal, political or poetic message on any wall.

Certainly not for the pompous or prudish, this place is an alternative cultural gem for all who are open minded.

Jerkbeast @ The Foundry Pub, Sunday nights, cost: free
84-86 Great Eastern Street, London (Old St Tube)
The foundry also supports new performances offering a venue free of charge for non funded shows.

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