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  • zenaedwardsis

SECURITY - The One Woman Show, 2008 #OneFromTheArchive

Inspired by Whoopi Goldberg - On Broadway, I wanted to write a show that would take me out from behind the mic stand as a performance poet on to the theatre stage as an embodier of poetic words and storytelling.

Image by Kofi Allen

'Security' piece was inspired by Sarah Jones' one woman show, 'Bridge & Tunnel' , Hip Hop movement and creator of the photography genre choreo- photolism Benji Reid.

and lyricist and Theatre maker, Will Power's Seven Story Tellers.

I have a lot to thank these artists for, as they opened my eyes to the possibility of where the written poetic word could go in a performance space. That space could be a theatre venue. However, my joy in discovering the power of the embodied word by studying the

performance practices of these artists whose work is rooted in Hip Hop culture, meant that I could deliver my poetry and spoken word piece humbly and powerfully in any space with story.

It must be remembered that first and foremost Hip Hop is a culture of healing for people of African and Latin American descent, who found and evolved their identity in inner cities of north America. The original Hip Hop mantra is Peace, Love, Unity and having fun! All I which I experience throughout the making of this emotionally complex, yet liberating show.

Also, I found the work of the afore mentioned artists, who are all American, except Benji, spoke to the American part of my parentage. My father is from St, Louis Missourri, one of the most impoverished areas of America.

My mother is a Afri-Carib-British (of African Descent with a Caribbean heritage and a British migrant settle experience) from the Windrush generation.

As a Afri-Carib-British American (and politicised Black) working class woman, 'Security' enabled me to explore some of the most difficult themes I have grappled with in my socially conscious mind - that of youth violence, youth sexual health, what is happening in Gaza, and grief.

My work with Guy Dartnell's mentoring also advanced my performance practice exponentially. With Guy's Voic(e)motion practice, I was able to make a more complete connection between my voice and the body exploring 'energetic space-taking' on stage. With improvisational movement and vocalised breath I was able to answer questions about how the body and voice can change the energy in a designated performance space. The goal is to guide the audience towards empathy and understanding within the story or poem.


There is no Self realisation without embodiment, no growth without the attempt to give the Invisible a visible form.
– Thomas Prattki

The principles of an embodied creative practice became evidently more important in my time spent at LISPA - London School of International Studies, now ARTHAUS Berlin.

Thomas Prattki's embodiment work became a foundational cornerstone to my evolution as a poet who wanted to move from behind the microphone to the theatre stage.

The added layer of using words as imaginative sparks to compel, to inspire movement, gave me a clear purpose and direction for my writing as a wrote the show that became, 'Security.' 'Security' toured nationally and played for 3 weeks at the Battersea Arts centre. With the support of the director, Anthony Shrubsall, the final show made it to the Shizuoka Spring Festival in Japan in 2010. This was definitely I highlight in my poetry life. More on how I came to find the director for this show in a later blog post! You can see more about the ethos and reason for its being at

Security was presented by Apples and Snakes Poetry and produced by Talita Moffatt.

~ Zena ~



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