Upcoming gigs

Upcoming Gigs

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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


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

Monday, 26 October 2015

20.15 Blog #12: Public Address Tour

Public Address Tour 2015

When I started trying to think seriously about making a career out of Saying Words As A Poet, the place I kept being sent to was this organisation called Apples & Snakes.  I went up to a workshop in Newcastle led by Kirsten Luckins, and joined their various Facebook groups, followed them on Twitter and perused their website.

Nay, I have pillaged their website.  Like the hungry Viking that my ancestry dictates, I went through their website devouring their articles and sample workshops.  I have used their workshop plans many times, obviously changing and adapting to suit my own devious ends.

For those of you who don’t know, Apples & Snakes support and promote poetry, spoken word and theatre-poetry fusions.  They work on a national and regional level, putting on events, gigs, workshops and advocating for the genre.  Alas, they have no Yorkshire-specific region, we tend to fall under the North East category.

So I was delighted to ‘represent’ Yorkshire as part of their 3rd Public Address Tour.  This tour takes artists from across the regions and sends them up and down the country.  The theme was Soapbox.  Standing on a platform and declaring something important in your heart.

Where was I to start?  I write about politics, but often as an uplifting Never Surrender style, rather than specific topics.  So I decided to write about the plight of the bees.  Cos if the bees go, humanity will be next.  I decided to set the piece in a post-apocalyptical future, partly because my partner was playing loads of Fallout and I’d just finished The Road.

With support from director Hannah Silva, we all took our pieces and crafted them over a lovely long amount of time.  The end result was a fantastic showcase, Shagufta Iqbal’s uncompromising poetry on Muslim identity, feminism and true beauty, Justin Coe’s honest reflective look on growing up and homosexuality in schools, Keisha Thompson’s satirical and darkly comic monologue about Black identity, Ingrid McLaran’s fantastical romp through a mindscape, Helen Seymour’s disarmingly funny exploration of our obsession with death and AJ McKenna’s hilarious (and divisively touching) performance piece about love, loss, rice and water pistols.

I was part of the Newcastle and London leg of the tour, but it was a privilege to meet and perform and work alongside really exciting poets.

Going waaay back to when I was a student, Sticks & Stones in Leeds was a cracking night because it brought talented poets from across the country.  It’s a sharing of ideas, styles and talents that is essential, putting a theatre director like Hannah with poets is essential.  Putting poets who are parents alongside poets who are just starting university is a sharing of different perspectives, and I’m sure audiences appreciated this kaleidoscope of characters we presented on tour.  That’s how we learn, and audiences learn, and I want to keep that culture alive in York.


It’s not over yet!  Catch the gang tonight in Southampton and Friday in Brum

Monday 26 October, 7.30pm | Part of SO: To Speak | Nuffield Theatre, Southampton SO17 1TR 

Friday 13 November, 7.30pm | Hexagon Theatre, Mac Birmingham, Birmingham B12 9QH

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