Spoken word is limitless - Roundhouse - Celebrating 50 Years


2006 – 2016

Emerging performer Asma Elbadawi explains what spoken word means to her, and how the art form has found a home at the Roundhouse.

Words First workshop at the Roundhouse led by Kate Tempest

Photograph: Cesare De Giglio

Spoken word has existed for many years in many forms – its not like its anything new – you can find it in Arabian ancient history with accounts of poets performing for early pilgrims on their way to Mecca.

You can talk about anything and everything. It is limitless.

Roundhouse gave me my path into spoken word.

This was the space that pushed me – that gave me the courage to perform and make spoken word my profession.

I was born in Sudan but raised in Bradford, and my dual cultural heritage deeply influences my creativity. Spoken word gives me a special opportunity to explore my life experiences and share them with an audience. 

Attending workshops with professional artists like Kate Tempest revealed so much. She’s an iconic person, but the way she interacted with us, she showed that you need to be true to who you are as an artist.

That’s what spoken word is about – keeping it real.

Its about freedom.