Poet hits street with new play

STREETS AHEAD: Scott Welsh has overcome addiction to bring his new play to life.


GEELONG poet Scott Welsh watched a man die on the floor of a public hospital.
Welsh describes the man as a “casualty in war on the underclass” in his latest theatrical creation, The Outcaste Weakly Poet Stage Show.
With the show scheduled to debut soon in Melbourne, the former junkie and PhD candidate uses the production to reflect on his life as a street poet.
He plumbs ER tragedies alongside the plights of homelessness, drug addiction, prostitution and street people.
Portraying himself as a mercenary sociopath, a capitalist and a beggar poet, Welsh’s monologue show draws on tales from collaborators including an illustrator, a musician and a dancer.
Welsh’s poetry sets the scene:
‘Let the dying hobo roll around on the floor,
We’ll give him some morphine for his pain, that is all,
And if you should hear the blood-curdling call,
Assume it’s the sound of homelessness,
He’s the same animal in life and death,
Deserves no more or less dignity,
Just remember to change his nappy.’
Welsh said “sometimes having been objectified by others or portrayed as a street poet” bothered him. He objected to being considered a street person first and a poet second.
“The truth is quite the opposite,” he said.
“I was a poet and a playwright long before I started writing about street life.
“I’ve also written a masters thesis in philosophy but people like stories and the idea of me as street poet makes sense to a lot of people and, of course, I’ve encouraged it by being a street poet.”
Welsh’s production is modest and stark, featuring the music of Zenta Schubert, dancer Elnaz Sheshgelani and Stella Nova’s projected illustrations.
“It will follow the real life path of the Outcaste Poet from Geelong to Melbourne to the streets of Sydney.
“We’ll present it in Melbourne at La Mama Theatre. Then at the Imperial Hotel as part of the Sydney Fringe, in the inner west, where I lived when I was a junkie poet.”