Tag Archives: Asking Nicely

Confidence Tricks – UK Tour!

30 Aug

LOGO BIRD FIVE (1)In October I will be touring the UK with a re-booted version of my five-star reviewed show Asking Nicely – now named Confidence Tricks. This is thanks to very generous funding from the Rainbow Heron Project, a trust set up in memory, which you can find out more about here.

Confidence Tricks is a poetry show about what makes us feel confident and entitled, or like we don’t deserve and don’t belong. It’s about the psychology and sociology of what makes us tick, as well as about what gets us through – from kindness and creativity through to swearing and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

Contains: feminism, funnies, wit, wordplay, and an A2 flipchart.

More dates to be announced very soon, but here’s a starter for ten:


Fri 07/10/2016 – Norwich, Take 5, 17 Tombland

Mon 10/10/2016 – Cambridge – set – Open Mind night, Frank Lee Centre. Facebook. Eventbrite. 

Tue 11/10/2016 – Brighton, Komedia Studio room. Tickets.

Thu 13/10/2016 – London, Dagenham, The PAD

Sat 15/10/2016 – Sheffield – set – Off the Shelf Literary Festival. Tickets here

Thu 20/10/2016 – Glasgow, The Project Cafe

Tue 25/10/2016 – London, Hammersmith

Sat 26/11/2016 – Sheffield Hallam University


Asking Nicely 2015 round-up

6 Sep

Three Weeks CoverThe 2015 Fringe was incredible. I felt like I was somehow cashing in all my chips from my previous years of flyering, bucket shaking, and running shows into one big, epic, media-splattered Fringe. Thank you everyone who came to my shows, wrote nice things, had a pint or a meal or a chat with me after the show. It was a hell of a ride!

I was interviewed by Three Weeks Magazine and Broadway Baby about Asking Nicely. I even wound up on the front cover of Three Weeks Magazine – which I didn’t even know poetry shows could aspire to!  Thanks to Loud Poet Carly Brown for the Broadway Baby interview, & Kat Gollock who took these gorgeous photos. You can see more of Kat Gollock’s photography here.


Three Weeks Magazine gave me this five-star review:

“It is hard not to love someone who is unapologetically themselves; most especially when it is Hannah Chutzpah. Charming, funny, and straight-shooting, Hannah stares gender, class and racial issues right in the face, as she dissects social conditioning in a whirlwind of beautifully crafted metaphors, alliterations and assonance. Permission? What is it? Are some people born with this privilege? In short – yes, they are, and Hannah cleverly educates us using a wide range of personal stories, and scientific research to wittily illustrate the complex (yet constantly mistaken for black and white) society that we live in. Hannah’s brave exploration of self sparks the questions of your own baggage, conditionings, and social status.”

Lhttp://www.katgollock.com/ettie McKie writing for Broadway Baby gave me a four-star review:

“In her funny and articulate show, Hannah Chutzpah presents her considered and inspiring take on the complexities of power and permission. Through poems that are tightly crafted stories and chat that’s amusing and well-researched, she contemplates how social class, gender, race and personality all have a part to play in the risks we feel able to take in life. Telling the story of her own personal journey from isolated teen to confident performance poet, she reflects on privilege in all its forms and hypothesises on the thorny issue of social conditioning. Continue reading

Asking Nicely – Edinburgh Fringe pick – X 4!

2 Aug

P1090429Last year my parents came up to see me perform at the Edinburgh Fringe. The Fringe has been a big part of my life for years, but they hadn’t yet been to see the mythical gathering that I rabbit on about all the time.

My folks quickly learned that handing out flyers or being bombarded with flyers is a large part of the Festival experience, and decided they wanted to try being the paper-shover rather than the paper-shovee. I was reluctant ’cause no one enjoys flyering, but they insisted so I gave them a small stack of flyers each, and carried on trying to get strangers to take a piece of paper with my face on it.

my mom says I'm coolA couple of minutes later I heard my mother’s voice over the hubbub of the Royal Mile, as she offered out the flyers:

“Come see my talented daughter?”

“You should see this show – my daughter’s in it.”

“My talented daughter.”

As sweet as that was, the fact that my mom is proud of me is not* a reason for anyone else in the world to come see my show. However, this year I am apparently a top pick of Edinburgh Fringe poetry shows according to:

The Skinny Magazine 

Three Weeks

The Morning Star

For Book’s Sake

Continue reading

Five Star Review from the Fringe!

26 Aug

Bu2ogekCQAARUrP_I’ve just got back from Edinburgh: city built by Escher, maker & breaker of dreams, and all-round boot camp for the performing arts.

I’ll do a proper round-up and thank you post when I’ve had more sleep and more time to reflect, but in the meantime: I had some reviews of my debut one-woman show and they were excellent Continue reading

Poetry Tag with Marisa

27 Jul

So Marisa is doing a poetry tag Q&A thing, and asked me a few questions about what I write/why I write it, etc. The results are here:

What am I working on?

My Edinburgh Fringe show Asking Nicely. It’s all about permission: how, why, when and where we ask for permission – with a feminist/sociological slant. It all started with one poem I wrote two years ago called Permission listing small acts of badass in women. I wrote it because I was trying to explain to a (straight, male) friend of mine how differently women held themselves in lesbian bars: their posture seemed prouder and more confident. The best way I would explain it was “it’s like they’re not asking for permission anymore.” He asked me “are women usually asking for permission?” and I realised yes, we absolutely are. I wrote a poem about confident women not asking permission to be themselves

Then when I first performed the poem it was just after Margaret Thatcher had died. The MC, just looking for a link to the next poet who had a load of material about how horrible Margaret Thatcher was, said “What about that Thatcher, aye? She didn’t ask for permission.” I was really, really pissed off to hear my nice poem about confident women being compared to Margaret Thatcher Continue reading

Big Thinky Post on Permission

23 Mar

I’m going to be writing and performing a one-woman poetry show about Permission called ‘Asking Nicely’ at the Edinburgh Fringe. It’s about how, why, when and where we ask for permission. Please see my previous blog posts here and here if you’d like background.

Organising my thinking/themes for the Permission show

I think permission splits into roughly three types:

  1. ‘Classic Permission’: Asking someone who can outright turn you down: teachers, police, bosses, etc. This is the ‘Please, sir/madam, may I?’ type.
  2. ‘Equals/Social Permission’: This is probably the nicest form – a kind of social consent: ‘I’d like to go to Spain on holiday. Would you like to come with me?’ ‘Would you like to get a drink some time?’ ‘Would you like to have sex?’
  3. ‘Blessing Permission’: Asking permission when you don’t need to, but it’s good manners to.’Is this seat taken?’ ‘May I marry your daughter?’ ‘Would you excuse me?’ Etc.

None of these are completely straightforward, though – and both have implicit and explicit variations, and underlying power dynamics. Continue reading

Asking Nicely Poetry Show: Audience Participation Time!

23 Mar

I am writing a one-woman show about permission called Asking Nicely. It’s about how, why, when and where we ask for permission. And I’d like your help.

(For background you can read my first blog on the topic where I first decided on the idea, my second blog about the practicalities of an Edinburgh Fringe show,  or my third blog about what I’m thinking/looking at/reading on the topic of permission.)

I’m looking at permission through the lens of sociology and intersectional feminism – when does manners become self-sabotaging meekness? When does confidence become entitlement? And if you’re game, I’d love to get your input:

Audience participation time!

If you are interested in this project and would like to help me think my thoughts, I’d be really grateful for answers to a few questions. Continue reading