2023 Poetry Night

23 November 2023

The spoken word drew LAMDA together for a vibrant Poetry Night at the end of October, as verse-based rituals have done within communities throughout human history.

Following weeks of submissions and grabbed rehearsal time shoe-horned in between a busy autumn term curriculum, a night of tender to electrifying verse performances by LAMDA students comprising original work and published poems filled the Sainsbury Theatre stage in the manner of a great drama.

The promotion of poetry as an expressive medium at LAMDA is well established. LAMDA Exams has promoted poetry performances and 'slams' over decades, giving LAMDA's Drama School students direct experience of working on established texts as well as creating new texts, with the added spice of performing in front of a judging panel and live audience.

This year the celebrated poet, Roy McFarlane, brought his significant poetry credentials to bear as a judge, along with LAMDA Exams Chief Examiner, Linda Macrow, and LAMDA Principal & CEO, Professor Mark O’Thomas. Roy's Jamaican parentage and his West Midlands upbringing is woven profoundly into his award winning published work.

He brought wisdom with great enthusiasm to the evening, making poetry the overall winner. 

Having dispensed his duties with his fellow judges Roy then took to the stage and filled the Sainsbury Theatre with vivid and powerful rhetoric, galvanising both his audience and the cohort of young LAMDA poets alike, who sat surrounding him on stage like a poetic praetorian guard, into one energetic celebration.

Words matter. They can change the world. Even more so when delivered with great skill and care by a magnetic orator.

The finalists were:


Yaw Kyeremateng – Childhood by Raven Taylor – WINNER

Janita Mikkola – ur my everything by Anya Vitaliev

Austin Evans – If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda

Pauline Maréchal – Sonnet 129 by William Shakespeare

Yanina Clifton – Holy Dan by Anonymous – RUNNER UP


Hilson Agbangbe – ABIKU (Born to Die)

Emily Tidey – The words I have to say

Yaw Kyeremateng – The immigrant experience

Callum Alexander-Smith – Sophie’s Freckles: A Sonnet

Carys Murray – Gold

Nigel Sudarkasa - African Skin

Sadhbha Odufuwa-bolger – Unmoored RUNNER UP

Tanaka Mpofu – CASH RUL£S

Jaylon Bolden – If I ruled the World WINNER