I must, first of all, make a confession – I know very little about spoken word poetry. When I sat down at the Scottish Storytelling Centre to watch Jenny Lindsay perform ‘This Script (and Other Drafts)’, therefore, I had no idea what to expect. Suffice to say, I was impressed. ‘This Script (and Other Drafts)’ certainly didn’t shy away from big issues, with poems focusing on gender politics, feminism, and the general minefield that is being a woman in the contemporary world.
The show was conceived of after Lindsay heard, for the first time, about #MeToo, the incredibly influential Twitter campaign that sought to bring attention to the rampant issue of sexual harassment and assault. Prompted by this outpouring of public confessions, Lindsay was encouraged to reflect on her own #MeToo.
‘This Script (and other drafts)’ was incredibly personal, and the emotion that Lindsay offered to the audience was truly affecting. Her performance offered a peek into her “script,” one facet of the innumerable faces of womanhood. However, Lindsay avoided performing an autobiography, instead highlighting the ubiquity of sexual politics and the necessity of feminism throughout.
However, Lindsay’s work was not all a sombre take on the frankly disheartening reality of being a woman in contemporary society; the performance was littered with light-hearted moments of relief. A particular highlight of the evening was Lindsay’s found poem, made up of the comments taken from various PornHub videos, which exposed an unexpected concern for female pleasure in the average PornHub viewer.
Throughout the performance, Lindsay remained entirely engaging and at ease with the audience. Her affability served as a poignant contrast to the moments of anger and frustration that punctuated the hour-long performance. ‘This Script (and Other Drafts)’ offered a poignant and incredibly timely discussion of questions of contemporary feminism. These problems are universal, are discussed nearly constantly and it can often feel like no progress is being made. Watching Lindsay perform on the subject brought a little bit of laughter, and most importantly, some much needed hope.
This Script (and other drafts) took place on Thursday 1 February 2018 at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
Image: Flint and Pitch Productions.