Spoken-word poetry is undeniably an art form that is difficult in its execution as it requires a skill of visual performance and traditional literature however, because of its flexibility there is always space for limitless interpretation of the performance. Beetle Prayer is the latest show by Philip Wilcox who has come to our shores with the titles of former Australian Poetry Slam champion and two-time New South Wales Poetry Slam champion and he explained the reason for the show’s title, “It’s called Beetle Prayer because of how I noticed beetles struggling upturned on their backs, their arms waving almost in prayer, desperately petitioning to be turned the right way up.”
“The show is about that prayer, that journey to be righted but also that boy looking on at a scrambling beetle on his bathroom floor, wondering if he’ll turn him. It’s also called an ‘Anti-Poetry’ show because the show explores my love/hate relationship to poetry and its role in forming meaning.” The show is described as being part comedy show, part poetry set but most of all it is a theatrical production that will kick you in the heart and tickle your ribs.
Philip Wilcox has attained a footing in the poetry world after having been a regular at a variety of writers’ festivals including Sydney Writers’ Festival, Beijing Bookworm Literary Festival, Ubud Writers’ and Readers’ Festival. The poet was granted a residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity for spoken word where he completed his first manuscript which is a collection of poems called Beetle Prayers which he stated that the upcoming show will be a realisation of that book coming to life as there will also be recitation of poems from the collection.
Having the experience of a resident writer in which an artist is given space and time to develop their work and is sometimes funded, Philip exclaimed, “I would absolutely recommend Banff’s Residency Program. I spent two weeks in the Canadian rockies surrounded by master storytellers and poets. I learnt the importance of honesty and fearlessness but really, I was reminded that spoken-word poetry is ancient, powerful and demands huge amounts of discipline and recklessness.”
Speakcity’s Melizarani T. Selva on the show, “Over the past year, theatrethreesixty and SpeakCity Asia (the organisation behind If Walls Could Talk and Spill The Ink Poetry workshops) have been experimenting with combining the art forms of spoken word and theatre. It involves marrying written poetry that are often times composed by the performers themself and the discipline of theatre performance. What started with Malaysia Throws Herself A Birthday Party at last year’s Kakiseni’s Arts Festival, continues its next step with having more of such shows showcased on our local stage.”
She spoke about what audience could expect from the poet, “An extraordinary combination of humour and hard truths from his performance. It will definitely be an eye opening experience for Malaysian audiences, especially poets and other performers. It may also offer them some insight on how to expand their perspective on spoken word poetry.”
Catch Philip Wilcox at Beetle Prayer: An Anti-Poetry Show on 13th October at Lot’ng, Subang Jaya.
Featured Image source: www.philip-wilcox.com