Review: Four Brown Girls Who Write Presents The Poetry Phamily at Gilded Balloon at Old Tollbooth Market

Four girls troupe onto stage standing supportively. Each takes it in turns to perform their pieces of poetry, their golden jewellery sparkling whilst their words shine and bedazzle the audience. Their writing is compelling, clever and luxurious to listen to.

The 4 Brown Girls Who Write collective also present a silky select of three other talented acts before taking to the stage. We hear spoken word and song that explores the themes of mental health, sexuality and periods amongst other sensitive and important issues. Musician Nadia Javed’ showcases her syrupy sweet vocals infused with punk and poetic lyrics. She tells the audience of the challenges of being taken seriously as a young, Asian creative which speaks to what the collective face daily and explore within their writing. 

Performed in an intimate space that could potentially make an audience feel on edge; the poets ease the audience with their spoken word serenity that makes the room feel almost meditative. The pink hues and affable host help to permeate the room with welcome and warmth. The collective use their soft, velvety voices to tell pieces that explore themes of heritage, language and love. Sharan Hunjan’s punchy piece that infuses words used in English that derive from Indian languages is a particular highlight. 

It is a joy to hear each performer’s versatility and flow and to listen to each of their perspectives on growing up as an Asian female in Britain. The hour goes far too quickly and leaves the audience feeling calmly empowered and yearning for more.

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