Sonnet Youth²

Toonspeak has teamed up with Sonnet Youth (Cat Hepburn and Kevin P. Gilday) for the 4th installment of Sonnet Youth² which provides a platform for our talented young writers, Word of Mouth to perform alongside established song and spoken word artists at our host venue Stereo Cafe Bar.

Word of Mouth is a project for young people aged between 14 – 25 who are either interested in writing or who need a creative outlet. The following performers have been working with author Cathy Forde, Sonnet Youth’s Kevin P. Gilday and Literacy Assistant Angela McCutcheon (provided by Rosemount Lifelong Learning) over the past 10 weeks.

A word from Cathy:

“It has been an extraordinary few weeks with a very hard-working and focused group who worked so well together. All of them take the process very seriously and it’s a joy to see the fruits of their creative labour so well received by an audience like last night’s. I am privileged again – as I say every time you have me in- to get to engage with these young people. Last night was a treat.”

Cathy herself shared an incredibly moving and personal piece as the penultimate act of the show. As an author, spoken word is a new artform to Cathy, but she has been so inspired by the young people that she decided to write something new to perform. It was a really touching and beautiful moment for everyone in the room, especially Word of Mouth participants.

Here are some images captured by Glasgow based photographer Kevin Main

Word of Mouth 2018 Andrew Melrose, Debs Liley, Dominika Gresle, Holly Wood, Jen Hughes, Lomond Docherty, Moki Graham, Robyn Watt, Shona Stout, Stuart Kennedy.


One of the most striking things about the night was the progression in performance that we have seen across the board, and some of the material that the young people chose to express. Some really hard hitting subject matter written and performed with real depth, maturity and conviction. So many audience members remarked that they were blown away.  As was I.

A word from participant Shona Stout

From the first time I joined at the beginning of Word of Mouth a few years ago, I could say the project gave me the only way I could ever write how I felt, share it and express it. It’s a bit therapeutic, writing away deep thoughts and getting feelings out your system. A fab place to meet wonderful and amazing people. It is an honour working with Cathy Forde, to have professional help and guidance from her on how to write anything you wish and to become an inspirational journey. Meeting other inspirational writers/ performers like Kevin, Cat and others gives you the courage to write/ perform and have faith in yourself with your piece.”

This month our special guests curated by Sonnet Youth were Belle Jones, Victoria McNulty and Shambles Miller – three incrdideble acts yet again with three distinct voices. Some of our young people can’t get into venues to experience different voices, but at Sonnet Youth² we bridge this gap.

It is a truly beneficial project that we as Team Toonspeak could not be prouder of, or any more proud of the young people involved.

We would like to be able to run this all year round, and are applying for the funding to do so. If you would like to support get in touch

And we also love hearing your comments, so go on, stick one in the comment box below.