Following their collaboration in southern India, Mark Gwynne Jones and Mamta Sagar brought their unique blend of performance poetry to the UK with 7 dates in five cities: London, Derby, Bradford, Leicester & Nottingham and a performance at the Ledbury Poetry Festival. For extracts of their show, see Mamta performing ‘Rain‘, Mark with ‘Sometimes they sing…‘ and listen to an audio recording from the Ledbury Poetry Festival.
As part of their collaboration, Mamta translated Mark’s poem ‘In the light of this…’ into her native Kannada, the language of Karnataka state. Here is the poem and its translation.
Audience feedback from the tour included: ‘Enjoyed the mixture of languages’ / ‘A fantastic surprise’ / ‘Excellent storytelling from Mark Gwynne Jones. He is a mesmerising performer.’ / ‘Loved the surreal moments’ / Mamta Sagar had some real warrior moments. The contrast of her voice with Mark Gwynne Jones worked really well’ / ‘A blend of languages with the tabla made it feel truly international’ / ‘the range of music and poetry was fantastic’ / ‘One of the best performances I’ve seen’ / ‘I really enjoyed Mark Gwynne Jones’ performance’ / ‘The melodic mixing of voices.’ / ‘It was creatively exciting.’ / ‘The standards of performance were high’ / ‘Mark is an expert crafter of words, showing great control, avoiding cliché in the metaphors he produces.’
Dr Corinne Fowler, University of Leicester, said of the show and masterclass: ‘The show was innovative in terms of literary form, interlingual experimentation and a novel presentation of poetry. The musicality of Kanada poetry was conveyed in ways that lifted Mark Gwynne Jones’s very good poetry into a new imaginative realm. Mark Gwynne Jones has an easy, informal style without sacrificing his authority as a workshop leader. Clearly knowledgeable about performance he shared this detailed knowledge clearly and encouraged the participants to be playful in developing their own performance styles.’