York Literature Festival is coming to York Theatre Royal soon

Orlando (Tues 26 March, 7.45pm): From Dyad Productions, award-winning creators of Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, The Time Machine and Austen’s Women.

Orlando: Who is she? Who is he? Who are we? Find out in the life-affirming, comedic tale of an immortal poet, whose gender cannot be pinned down, whose spirit cannot be caged, and whose irreverent, romantic adventures across British history – from the 1500s to the present day – provide a magic-realist exploration of human identity; personal, sexual and national.

Drawing on a decade’s worth of critically-acclaimed theatre-making, Dyad Productions – performer Rebecca Vaughan and writer/director Elton Townend Jones – explore what it means to find our place in the world whilst remaining utterly true to who we are. Based on the satirical 1928 novel by Virginia Woolf.

Old Herbaceous (Fri 22 March, 7.45pm): A PMac production by Reginald Arkell, adapted by Alfred Shaughnessy.

Pottering amongst the seeds and cuttings at the back of his ramshackle greenhouse in the garden of a Gloucestershire manor house is Herbert Pinnegar. Now in his twilight years he is full of memories and tales of a bygone era.

In between potting up and potting on, he recounts his journey from orphan boy to legendary head gardener Old Herbaceous and tells of his friendship with the lady of the house, Mrs Charteris.

Sown with seeds of gardening wisdom, this charming one man show is a love story – a humorous portrayal of a single-minded yet gentle man with a passion for plants.

Telling the Blues (Sat 23 March, 7.45pm): Presented by The Crick Crack Club.

From juke joints and brothels, to slave shacks and plantations – under the starlit sky of the deep Southern States emancipated slaves of the African Diaspora, dressed in indigo dyed denim and banned from singing their homeland songs, spirituals and field hollers, created, sang and lived the blues. Fusing song, folktale and legend, the remarkable storyteller, Jan Blake, and blues guitarist, Matt Chandler, tell the blues.

Join them for a night in the very fine company of those who’ve got the blues, those who defy the blues, those who cure them, and those who cause them. This is a performance to raise the roof and bring the stars down to the windows to listen…

Running time 90 mins plus interval. For adults 14+

What Days We’re Having Now (Mon 25 March, 7.45pm): Presented by Jaybird Live LIterature.

When you’re on an adventure, you need a map. Take one last look at your teenage bedroom – its floordrobe and cereal bowls, the photos on the wall – then head out into the world.

What Days We’re Having Now is a live anthology of subtly theatricalised poems performed by up and coming poets and new writers Alex MacDonald, Ella Freers and Will Harris that are, in turns, sweet, sad and funny. Images scroll by like an Instagram feed: a flower pressed in a book, a cartoon frog, a stack of nachos cooked by a TV chef.
Through performed poems touching on identity, uncertainty, the meaning of family and the nature of love, Alex, Ella and Will talk to us. They lead us away from home and help us find our way back. Navigate your lives with their poems.

Running time: 50 mins

Lost In A Sea of Glass and Tin (Thurs 28 March, 7.45pm): A textual and visual performance by Gary Winters and Claire Hind.

The performance responds to David Lynch’s concept of ‘the eye of the duck’, particularly with regards to what the eye can teach us about repetition, texture, shape and the colour of performance. This performance premiered at The Defibrillator Gallery in Chicago and is a mixed media live work of light, sound, projection and voice.

Where There’s Muck There’s Bras (Fri 29 March, 7.45pm): Written and performed by Kate Fox, featuring actor Joanna Holden, directed by Annie Rigby, produced by Laura Brewis.

Performed by stand-up poet Kate Fox, this funny, gently subversive performance/lecture uncovers the hidden history of the writers, scientists, sportswomen, politicians, protestors, musicians and other heroines who represent the grit, determination and spirit of the North’s women.

All this events will be held at part of the York Literature Festival in the York Theatre Royal Studio.