Featured Event


Friday, October 16 @ 7:00pm


Scratch Warehouse
275-285 Macaulay Rd North Melbourne


$15/10 ($20/15 on the door)

Has an Open Mic?


Melbourne Spoken Word is taking the vision of poetry slam founder Marc Smith (so what!) to the next level in October, presented ‘poetry SLAM!!!’ we’ve got a vision of poets duking


Listen to the latest issue of Audacious

Listen to the latest issue of Audacious, the audio-journal of Melbourne Spoken Word, a quarterly album of spoken word of the most bold and fresh voices in Melbourne.

Listen to Audacious .. ›
Comment — October 7

The Audience Deserves More From You

By Benjamin Solah

Words by Fleassy Malay

There is a bizare phenomenon I see in the Spoken Word scene. I saw it in the Slams of the UK, the high fire nights of Vancouver and the diverse and rolling scene of Melbourne. I saw it every month for two years at Mother Tongue. Every time I see it, it feels like my heart is breaking just a little bit.

The phenomenon is this. To set the scene: A poet gets on stage, silent… walks to the microphone, looks at the audience. The tension is high. They take a deep breath and open their mouth. Out pours a passion driven, soul breaking, cry to the night. A war cry. A love cry. A sex cry. They even arch their necks, their backs, fists pumping in the air! They are speaking for the unspoken voices, they are freeing women from slavery, freeing hearts from chains, freeing people from labels and judgement. The voice of the people!

They finish.

The audience goes wild.. I mean WILD! They holla and cheer. Whistles, tears and clapping!.

And then…it happens… this heart breaking phenomenon.

The poet curls inwards, the resonating sounds of the applause crumbling their height like a cheap fascade and their shoulders curve forwards. Their head sinks down. They blush. They even TURN AWAY from the audience.

Once the audience stops applauding the poets clears their throat, a meek voice of “Umm” and “Err” dribbles out of this suddenly coy and daunted creature as they go on to thank the audience and introduce their next piece with an air of “it’s new so please… I’m sorry I’ve not learnt it… it’s been a while… I’ve had a long day…”

I sit there in the audience, the bubbling potency of what was before me only a few minutes earlier fizzles out into a bizare sense of “…meh” or something.
I want to take this person by the shoulders and shake them screaming “YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN TH

Reviews — September 21

Review: Sean M Whelan's 'All the Animals We Ate.'

By Benjamin Solah

Review by Freya Dougan.

Does anthropomorphism lead to misunderstanding? Do our pets know we love them, even when we’re not there? And did dinosaurs really perish because of an asteroid, or was hedonism to blame for their demise?

All the Animals We Ate is a new play by Sean M. Whelan and James Tresise, currently showing at Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, as part of Melbourne Fringe.

The show is only partially about eating animals, both in its literal meaning (Sean is a vegetarian, James isn’t) and in the sense of desire expressed as consumption, like in Where The Wild Things Are — ‘I’ll eat you up, I love you so!’

Billed as ‘a love letter to the beast within and without,’ All the Animals We Ate explores human beings’ relationship to animals — from the complexities of the food chain, to Sean’s simple and innocent love for his dog Cady and subsequent mourning of her death. At times the show reads as a eulogy for Cady, and taps into the deep love expressed for a pet after they are gone.

At first I was unsure what to expect. One promotional poster features Sean in a fuzzy grey wolf hat, about to mournfully tuck into a bowl of tiny plastic zoo animals.

What I did know was that I was in for a treat. I’ve been a fan of Sean’s poetry and DJing for some time. I was new to the actor and theatre-maker James’ work, and found the pair to have a fantastic energy together working as a duo.

All the Animals We Ate is an incredible production. Poetry, stories, music and visuals — including dream-like video projections and cute animal figurines — combine in a truly magical experience.

Sean and James have created a narrative that jumps effortlessly from a retelling of the story of Noah’s Ark, to YouTube cat videos, to wondering whether dinosaurs developed cancer from carcinogens consumed through too many volcanic bong rips. The show is beautiful, hilarious, absurd and very touching. I