As part of the ‘Stand Up and Spit’ line up, the legendary poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, is set to introduce a special screening of a BBC arena documentary at Manchester’s very own Home Theatre.
“Upon Westminster Bridge”, the BBC Arena film, will form part of the ‘Stand Up and Spit’ show of gigs, exhibitions and talks and will be coming to Manchester at the end of July.
Renowned reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson will be live on stage in the Theatre 1 to introduce the documentary-style film about the late Jamaican poet Michael Smith. Johnson will also give a reading of his own poetry following the screening.
Made in 1982, Arena director Anthony Wall’s film focuses on Smith’s first visit to the UK. Smith performs his own work in iconic London locations including Brixton Market and on Westminster Bridge, as well as exploring what makes a poet ‘revolutionary’ with renowned Marxist historian CLR James and Linton Kwesi Johnson himself.
Smith’s verse, which captures the everyday struggles of ordinary people in Jamaica and beyond, resonates with the poetry of politics and injustice performed by working class Ranting poets in the UK at the time. Ranters responded to reflect the wider state of Britain, particularly the high tensions with Thatcherism, the rise in unemployment rates and considerable social unrest – themes which still resonate today.
With connections to the punk and reggae scenes, it was the forerunner to today’s vibrant performance poetry and spoken word scene.
The screening will take place Saturday 23 July at 7.30pm with ticket prices currently on sale from the Home website at £10.