I’ve been asked a few times about if I’m doing the Fringe this year. I will be up at the Fringe for 2 weeks (13th-29th) but I won’t have my own show this time.*
I’ll be doing some guest spots – dates below – as well as various slams and open mics. If you’d like to book a 5-star reviewed poet for a guest slot – just get in touch: Hannah (dot) Chutzpah (at) gmail (dot) com. In the meantime: hope to catch you at one (or plural!) of these awesome shows:
* I don’t have a solo show this year because:
- I didn’t have a good enough idea to build a new show around. As the Fringe programme deadline approached I kept racking my brains, but I just didn’t have that one awesome idea I’d be excited about creating an hour of material for, so I decided not to force it. My next solo show will come when it’s good & ready to be epic.
- I have a tour in October – taking a re-worked version of my show Asking Nicely – now renamed Confidence Tricks – around the UK. (More on this to be announced very soon.) This is a huge piece of work, and New Fringe Show + Tour + Day Job would’ve frankly been a recipe for an anxiety attack.
As seen in the Morning Star newspaper, 4th May 2016, in Well Versed, edited by Jody Porter
Surviving the job centre
With your ego intact
Is a masterclass in
Wear the office clothes
You no longer have to.
Wear the smile of someone
Like your career got a flat tire
And this is the garage.
When the security guard escorts you
From desk to desk
(Same as everyone)
Treat them like a valet service:
Thank them with an indulgent smile.
Have a book with you
A large one
With a sombre cover.
Carry a nice pen in your pocket.
Sail through the patronising print-out forms
With the air of a business-class traveller
Do not turn your head to the screams
Of the children in prams
Do not look worried when
There is slurring and shouting
Two seats away
Act as if everyone else is behind glass
Pretend you are not permeable
Do not let it flicker across your face
That rent is looming
That you are too bored to be well
And too broke to go out
That this is the first time you have worn shoes
In three days
That your days consist of forgetting meals
And remembering biscuits
While the mess stacks around you.
You are wearing nice shoes now.
The ones you bought
Before redundancies were announced.
Delicately correct typos and grammar
In the photocopied forms
Like a supervisor.
Like their supervisor.
Under ugly ceilings
The fluorescent strip-lights
Glint off your armour
Of accent, degree, CV
You are not one of them
You are just visiting.
Dear pet crematorium
Can you please talk me through
The four poems you gave me
Three apparently written by my dead cat
Two of them addressing me as ‘mum’-?
Filmed at Write Angle poetry night, Sheffield. You can read the poem here, or watch it on YouTube here.
Filmed in April last year at the Tate Modern, courtesy of Queersay, Apples and Snakes and Out in South London.
The wonderful Tyrone Lewis – Roundhouse Slam Champion, photographer, video editor and all-round lovely chap – has made a documentary about the London open mic scene and you should totally watch it.
New year, new poem. Hello, 2016.
I am weeding the ground of my mind
Picking through the thoughts that grow
Deciding which I want to keep
Digging others out at the root.
Some are fine but there isn’t space
Some will not survive my soil
Some scattered seeds I never noticed
‘Til they sprouted seasons later.
Some plants pull out clean, complete
Others put up a fight
Rhizomes of anxiety, self-sabotage
Stretch subterranean across my landscape
Shooting new spears through the surface
When I thought I’d got them all.
But this newly-bare earth is not empty
This blank space will not stay blank:
It is a tidy room
A new notebook
In which to plant
For next season.