An hour of genius.
I have only ever seen Jemima perform once before. I was lucky enough to catch her back in 2015 at Apples & Snakes “Forked” event in Plymouth. This was a formative time for me as a spoken word artist, as I had only been involved for around 6 months. Needless to say, I was spellbound. Jemima has a charming and engaging way about her when she performs. She is not just a world-class wordsmith. As you will find out when you go to see Cactus and. go you must!
If you have not been to a spoken word event before then, Cactus would be your ideal introduction. The hour is a relaxed and eloquently curated set of poems, peppered with Jemima’s beautiful singing. Far from being the indulgent and heavy experience that you might assume from an hour of poetry, Jemima demonstrates just what can be done with words, metre and rhyme. The show just doesn’t feel like poetry. It feels like mini-stories, knitted together with charm and wit. The fact that some of it employs rhyming or constraints of various types is merely a side note. I bet my bucket you will enjoy this show, even if you think you hate poetry.
Of course, for those in the know, Cactus is no doubt already on the schedule. If you are in any way involved in the scene, you will have heard of Jemima before and rightly so. Cactus will not disappoint you. In fact, it will inspire you. A lot of the Spoken Word events seem to be happening around the same time slots this year. This makes it extremely hard to schedule if you have a limited opportunity to enjoy shows. So if you have never seen Jemima perform, or if you want something soul-enriching on a given day, Cactus would be my recommendation.
A powerhouse of emotion and meaning, delivered in the most humble of ways. With her authentic and unique style, Jemima is firmly in my list of favourite poets in the world right now. Cactus moved me as much as Joelle Taylor’s “Songs My Enemy’s Taught Me” and wowed me as much as the first time I saw Buddy Wakefield. Don’t miss her.
Cactus is at Bar Bados, Room 3 – daily from 8:15 up to the 24th August, except the 15th