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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO VANDAL RAPTOR? UK tour

TESTT (Durham): April 12th

The New Adelphi (Hull): April 15th

Workshop Theatre (Leeds): April 17th

Hydra Bookshop (Bristol): April 18th

Derby Theatre: April 20th

Harrogate Theatre: April 24-25th

Ovalhouse (London): April 26-28th

NERD PUNK BOOK TOUR

London Book Launch at Ovalhouse, April 26th

York Book Launch at All Saints Church, April 29th

Small Fry DIY, Warrington, 2nd May

Spoken Weird, Halifax: 3rd May

Born Lippy, Newcastle 9th May

Shaken In Sheep Town, Skipton: 10th May

Find The Right Words, Leicester : 16th May

Queenie’s Coffee Nights, Huddersfield: 21st May

Gong Fu Poets, Coxhoe: 31st May

Verse Matters, Sheffield: 7th June

Slam Dunk, Hastings: 28th June

Word Club, Leeds: 29th June

Poetry Jam, Durham: 4th October

Saturday, 7 December 2013

POET IN A PUB

When I and Tom Bellerby made Letter To The Man (from the boy) back in 2011, we wanted to make sure the show wasn’t just about me.  We spent hours and hours working on the poems and the text and delivery, but even longer in that rehearsal room planning how to get people’s stories, how to get them to share and how to make them comfortable.

This November I went on the road, jumping from train-to-train, bus-to-bus, taxi-to-taxi, B&B-to-B&B to take Letter To The Man to a host of pubs across rural Norfolk (and one Library in Suffolk).  This tour was supported by Creative Arts East, the idea being I’d sit in a pub, chat to people, write them poems on any topic they requested, and then perform the show on the evening over 2 visits.

I had no idea what would greet me in each pub, but I was treated to lovely, kind and generous people feeding me, watering me and in some cases ferrying me from place-to-place.  I wrote a huge tonne of poems, some posted here are my favourites with a host of topics, stories and characters.  I want to say a massive thank you to everyone I spoke to, especially those who looked suspiciously at some strange skinny Yorkshire lad in their rural Norfolk pub and yet went along with the gimmick and gave me plenty of ideas, tales and inspiration to write some brand new poems.

Someone asked me how Norfolk people differ from other people across the country, and I know it’s a cop-out answer, but people are just people. Everyone has a story, has something interesting, can surprise you and be can be warm and welcoming.  Each venue I visited runs the venue not necessarily for profit, but the understanding communities need a local space to be relaxed with friends where stories, arguments and jokes run rampant.  Pubs and libraries are important to local communities, referring back to my home of York: El Piano, The 3-Legged Mare, The York Arms and The Golden Ball are my favourite venues in the whole world, all friendly, accessible, open and willing because they are operated by people who understand that need for a space, and put their heart and soul into making it happen.
The culture of art and theatre is shifting, not just in York. 

As funding is hacked from larger theatre spaces, we must take to the fringes.  By which, I don’t necessarily mean The Fringes, I mean we need to aim more grassroots, work within communities not just as visitors and in doing so will find new audiences.  Friendly, warm, approachable audiences with as much to say about the world.  We are all creative, all we need is a willing space and a decent drinks on tap, decent food and a challenge.



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