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Preview: Burning Books at Newcastle Alphabetti

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Burning Books
Newcastle Alphabetti Theatre
Sunday 15th November 2015

After viral Youtube hit and five star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe, poet Jess Green takes her education themed music and spoken word show on national tour.

In March 2014 when Jess Green uploaded a poem from her first solo show, Burning Books to Youtube she did not expect it to become the viral hit that it did. A year on, Dear Mr Gove has attracted over 300,000 hits on Youtube and Jess is taking the show from which it originates on tour having received two five star reviews at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

“Punchy, she struck a chord” – The Guardian

Burning Books is a lyrical, powerful and humorous spoken word and live music show set in an inner city secondary. Supported by two musicians, performance poet Jess Green tells the stories of the librarian secretly taking books to the tip, the newly qualified graduate furiously supporting Movember and the tired-out sixty-something fighting for her pension on a picket line. These stories of everyday underdogs are soundtracked by a rousing musical underscore played her band, The Mischief Thieves - Dave Morris and Scott Cadenhead - which moves from slow, acoustic folk to raucous, Deep South US blues and even the occasional European waltz.

“Brilliant. Her words have certainly struck a chord with teachers” – Huffington Post

Inspired by the stories of people she’s met in schools across the country, Jess Green presents a highly topical social commentary on the state of education and the teachers and students who survive within it. This show is firmly set now; at a time when public sector budgets are stretched to breaking point and teachers feel the finger of blame firmly on their heads.

“An internet sensation” – The Independent

Burning Books was premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2014 as part of PBH’s Free Fringe and went back this year. It received huge amounts of positive feedback from the packed-to-capacity crowds as well as two 5* reviews from TV Bomb and Broadway Baby who said ‘“Grippingly inventive and immensely touching. Green’s voice is urgent, important and immensely enjoyable; she deserves to be heard.”

“It’s brilliant. I loved it!” – Josie Long

Jess says: ‘After the success of the Gove video and the Edinburgh premiere, I had a lot of teachers get in touch to say how much the poem and the show as a whole resonated with them. I’m really excited to now be able to take it on a national tour.’

“Amazing to watch!” – Scroobius Pip

At times incredibly sad and others comedically honest, Burnings Books won’t just appeal to those interested in education and politics but also fans of live music, theatre and of course, poetry – particularly those who didn’t think they liked it to begin with.

More information about Jess’ work can be found on her website www.jessgreenpoet.comand you can follow her on Twitter at @jessgreenpoet.

Performance Details
Bar Opens
6.30pm. Performance starts 7.30pm

Alphabetti Theatre, The Basement
18 Newbridge Street West Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AW
Ticket Price:
Running Length:
Approx. 1 Hour 15 minutes (including 3 x 15 minute intervals)
Book online:

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11th September – The Roundhouse, Camden
19thSeptember – Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
27thSeptember – Komedia, Brighton
13thOctober – Unity Theatre, Liverpool
14thOctober – Islington Mill, Salford
1stNovember – Bikeshed Theatre, Exeter
15thNovember – Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle
28thNovember – Rich Mix, Bethnal Green

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