The Good Delusion

Sat 2nd – Sat 23rd August 2014


Rachel Mfon

at 00:39 on 15th Aug 2014



After trudging through human traffic on the Royal Mile, it was a breath of fresh air to be in the presence of the light-hearted and high-spirited Tina Sederholm. We are spoiled rotten with a poetic treat that was as sweet as the lemon sherbets we are given on our way out. It is quite amazing to see how much charisma can be squeezed into one person. It doesn't seem to matter that quite a few seats are left empty as the energy in her performance fills the entire space.

Tina's spoken words are inspired by an introspective look at her childhood. As an innocent-minded but sceptical young girl she struggles to define herself by her deeds and achievements. Never quite being satisfied with her branding, she settles with the label 'not good enough.' Her story arrives at a place of confusion and disillusionment about the ideals of morality and religion. As heavy as this may sound, her powerful message is told lightly with mild humour. Tina's strong content challenges us to rethink some of the social pressures and anxieties that shape the way we live.

She invites us to a world where inquisition is welcome, where there is a refreshing and bold culture of questioning.A liberating tale but not a revolutionary rant, where questions arise along with the freedom to not have all the answers, and to not always get things right. Through her words she moves you to find your own voice but always with an awareness of how tough this might be.

Her piece provides a healthy dose of reality not just the spoonfuls of sugar but at some points I could feel a strong toothache coming on. As I said before, the energy Tina brings to the performance is spectacular but she never seems to change out of her child-like persona. Even as she plays her adult self, she appears to be hopped up on sugar throughout. Whilst it is exciting to watch her illustrate her words, full of personality, her expressions nearly lead her into the role of the CBeebies presenter you want to throttle when your child isn't looking. Her performance seemed to be a U Certificate while her audience was 18+.

Despite, sometimes forgetting I was in a pub and instead feeling as though I were in front of my over-enthusiastic primary school teacher, the show is truly thought provoking. Without a doubt, Tina's poetry echoes the anxieties that we all face in our youth and adulthood. As a student, facing some of the toughest decisions in life, I find these spoken words of wisdom utterly enthralling and intrinsic.


Hannah Blythe

at 09:28 on 15th Aug 2014



Tina Sederholm gave an intimate and entertaining spoken word performance. Hidden in a tiny venue beneath The Royal Oak pub, Tina delivered poetry with a raw honesty that’s hard to find. The Good Delusion comprised an exploration of the Tina’s faith in the connection between being good and obtaining happiness. Through enticing verse, Tina pondered the formative experiences of her life.

The Good Delusion was a deeply personal act. The poetry created a cathartic exploration of Tina’s past, and communicated a long and difficult path of self-discovery. Tina combined lyrical ease and sharp wit to create a captivating script. While the words did indeed focus on their author’s life, they also encouraged the audience to consider their own motivations and values.

By encouraging audience participation, Tina ensured that her crowd considered their own relationship with goodness, as well as hers. At the start of the show, she provided some definitions of ‘goodness.’ Then, she asked the audience to shout out, on a scale of one to ten, how ‘good’ they felt. We subsequently joined Tina in an honest and reflective fifty minutes.

Tina’s performance was confident and personable. Indeed, as we waited to enter the tiny underground bar, she chatted away to us, immediately creating the sense that we were about to share a story, as opposed merely to witness it. Throughout the show, Tina reacted to her audience and often threw little, almost conversational, comments towards us.

Commanding an audience’s attention throughout a fifty-minute monologue is a serious challenge. Tina, however, made clever use of some simple props. As our entertainer grasped a church collection plate, I visualised her grasping onto the intangible ‘good’ she spent so long striving for.

Tina’s costume was particularly interesting. The performer was clad head to toe in red. The red dress, the red cardigan and the red lipstick undermined visually, Tina’s long held desire to be good. The costumer stated, ‘I don’t care if this looks good. This is Tina.’

On occasion, Tina stumbled on her words. At times, she broke character and giggled. However, while the performance was not polished to perfection, the small faults did little to detract from the captivating spoken-word.


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