"Troyanne" / Liberated Words
My latest review assignment for British Theatre Guide was Ian Rowlands’ “Troyanne”, for Company Of Sirens at Chapter. Inspired by real-life stories of accidental family shootings in the U.S. and set in the context of military involvement in the Middle East, it could easily have been a one-dimensional anti-American rant at easy targets; it mostly avoids this, however. And Caroline Bunce is electrifying in the central role, as a bereaved wife and mother.
Yesterday I went to the Arnolfini in Bristol to check out the Liberated Words Festival of Poetry Films – I’d been lucky enough to have one selected for the evening session. The afternoon was taken up with a panel discussion, where various practitioners, mostly academics, discussed their varying theoretical takes on the genre, some of which whizzed straight over my head; in fact, for me, the most interesting films shown in this strand were the most traditional – documentary style adaptations of the works of Bristol-based performance poet David Johnson.
My film of a Jo Bell poem was part of a highly varied two-hour programme of poetic shorts which concluded proceedings. Some were excellent, others deeply dull. I was mostly relieved that the image quality of my piece – made using entirely free software, and burned to DVD on my home laptop – seemed to pass muster on a big screen.