The Black Flamingo Cabaret | Free Word

18 April 2019
19:00 22:00-

Presented by:
Free Word and Spread the Word


Drag, spoken word and cabaret with Dean Atta

Critically acclaimed writer and performance poet Dean Atta brought his spellbinding Black Flamingo Cabaret to Free Word, named after his forthcoming debut novel The Black Flamingo. The event featured a spectacular display of wordplay and gender-defying drag from former poetry slam champion Keith Jarrett and international performance artist Lasana Shabazz.

You can follow #TheBlackFlamingo to stay up to date with the latest as Dean takes Black Flamingo Cabaret on tour.

Dean Atta was named one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. His work has appeared on BBC One, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and Channel 4. Keith Jarrett is a former UK and Rio Poetry Slam Champion whose work has been performed at the Old Vic and broadcast on the BBC. Lasana Shabazz has performed at The Manchester Art Gallery, Tate Britain, The Malborough Theatre and Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

The Black Flamingo Cabaret has been developed by Dean Atta with support from Free Word and Spread the Word.


Photos: Rowan Spray

Graphic Design: Denny Kaulbach

Front image of Dean: Christian Sinibaldi


18 April 2019
19:00 - 22:00
£10 / £7 / £2

Free Word and Spread the Word


Photos: Rowan Spray


Dean Atta

Writer and performance poet

Dean Atta was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize for his debut poetry collection, I Am Nobody’s Nigger. His poems deal with themes of race, gender, identity and growing up, and have appeared on BBC One, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and Channel 4. Dean was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. He regularly performs across the UK and internationally. Dean is a member of Keats House Poets Forum and Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. He has a Philosophy and English BA from the University of Sussex and a Writer/Teacher MA from Goldsmiths, University of London. Dean is a tutor for Poetry School and a Writer in Residence for First Story. His debut novel, The Black Flamingo, will be published in August 2019 by Hodder Children’s Books.

Keith Jarrett

Writer and poet

Keith Jarrett writes poetry and short fiction. His collection of poetry, Selah, is published by Burning Eye. His stories have appeared in anthologies and magazines, including Attitude and Tell Tales IV, with influences ranging from Caribbean trickster figures to Latin American surrealism. In 2010, Keith was UK Poetry Slam Champion. In 2013, his five-star reviewed show Identity Mix-Up debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. In 2014, he completed the pioneering Spoken Word Educators programme, teaching in a secondary school while studying for an MA at Goldsmiths University; he also won the Rio International Poetry Slam championship at the FLUPP favela literary festival. He was a Fiction Fellow at Lambda Writers’ Retreat in Los Angeles, 2015. Keith was commissioned to write a monologue, Safest Spot in Town, as part of the BBC’s Queers series last year. It was performed at the Old Vic and aired on BBC Four. He is currently a PhD scholar at Birkbeck, University of London, where he is completing his first novel.

Lasana Shabazz

Performance artist

Lasana Shabazz is an international performance artist who incorporates film, theatre, dance and music within their work. They have worked with artists such as Mykki Blanco, Travis Alabanza, Scottee and Big Freedia whilst working with a range of spaces from The Manchester Art Gallery and Tate Britain to The Malborough Theatre and Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Expect the unexpected.



There is step-free access to all areas of Free Word and a number of other facilities available to make the venue accessible. 

  • Our box office, theatre and hall are all on the ground floor with step-free access from the street
  • Meeting rooms and offices are accessible by lift from the ground floor
  • There are two accessible toilets on the ground floor
  • Hearing loops are available at the box office and the theatre (when set up theatre style) and in all meeting rooms
  • If you need to bring someone for assistance, please get in touch with us so we can provide a free ticket for them

Please talk to our team if you have specific access requirements.