Say Owt are York’s premier spoken word/poetry organisation. In 2015, Say Owt held their 3rd ever event with Jess Green as special guest. Naturally, the event sold out and Jess played to a packed-out crowd. Say Owt are bringing Jess back to York, this time accompanied by full band The Mischief Thieves.
Following the success of the critically-acclaimed Burning Books, Jess Green is taking A Self Help Guide to being in love with Jeremy Corbyn on national tour. A rousing, lyrical and humorous look at modern politics, the show not only played to sell-out crowds at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe but also netted Jess the title of BBC Poetry Slam Champion. When Corbyn heard the noise on social media, he phoned Jess to invite her for a cup of tea, telling her he “loved the poetry, spirit and creativity” of her work (although Michael Gove remains less of a fan).
A Self Help Guide… previewed in the Midlands before reaching the Edinburgh Fringe, where it completed a sell-out run. Jess already had a huge following after hitting a nerve with the poem Dear Mr Gove, which became an overnight “internet sensation” (The Independent) in 2014 and currently as over 330,000 views on YouTube. The former school librarian took the stage play based on her hard-hitting poetry about education around the UK in 2018.
When Jess joined the Labour Party at university in 2007 she doubled the number of members who met weekly in a Liverpool pub. Since then she’s stuck by the party through the downfall of Blair, the disappointment of Brown and the monolith of Miliband. Now, “after a decade of keeping her membership card firmly at the back of her wallet”, she’s fallen head over heels in love with Corbyn’s “raw socialist magnetism”. If only everyone else agreed… A Self Help Guide… sees Jess ask the question of how the party will ever win another general election when the left is so divided. York is a perfect place for Jess to bring the show, last time Corbyn visited the city he held a speaker aloft for Rachael Maskell MP so she could be heard at the rally. With Partys currently canvassing at the Council elections, politics is on York residents minds.
Henry Raby, Artistic Director for Say Owt, says: “We are excited to bring this show to York. Whichever way you vote (or don’t!), the story of Corbyn’s success in the 2017 election and the transformation of the political landscape makes this an engaging and relevant show for our times.”
Henry Raby will also be supporting the show with his own set of eclectic and anarchic punk poetry. The night also features a special set from Scarborough troubadour Joe Solo whose heartfelt political acoustic music as taken him from labour clubs across the UK to Glastonbury Festival. Plus Say Owt are hosting an open mic if you fancy reading a poem or two!
In the spirit of the themes of the show, they will be collecting donations for York Food Bank and Food Not Bombs.
This will be held at The Crescent in York on May 2nd.