A brand new UK tour of poetry & performance – from Lydia Towsey, Shruti Chauhan and Jean Binta Breeze MBE

Three the Hard Way – Part Two!

Look out! Three the Hard Way – PART TWO coming your way – introducing, alongside Jean Binta Breeze and Lydia Towsey – SHRUTI CHAUHAN…!

TTHW2 pic

Jean, Lydia and Shruti – launching Three the Hard Way – Part One, Upstairs at the Western. Photographer Credit: Jayne Brook.

Following the wonderful success of Three the Hard Way in 2014, we are delighted to announce that Arts Council England has awarded us with funding to support the second phase of our development. Consequently, Three the Hard Way – Part Two will be taking to the road this Autumn, this time with an all new line-up as Jean and I are joined by the absolutely amazing, fabulous and brilliant, Shruti Chauhan.

To recap – Three the Hard Way derives from Jamaican culture where male DJs would respond to each others’ sets in collaboration & competition. The idea was adopted by UK male dub poets, led by Linton Kwesi Johnson in the early 80s. Part Two will once again reappropriate this format, exploring contemporary women’s issues, politics, culture and diversity – but now across three continents, Africa, Asia & Europe – and three generations.

We’ll be touring this all new developed show over October and November 2015 – visiting an expanded number of locations including, Birmingham, Brighton, London and more. Building on the success of our tour with Three the Hard Way (Part-One’s) Alison Dunne – we’ll be developing the performance to include in some locations a longer length – and in all cases a new cross-generational and cultural conversation.

The content of this will include brand new material from all us – from a taste of both mine and Jean’s forthcoming publications – Jean’s ‘Veranda Poems’ (due for publication by Bloodaxe Books, March 2016) – and my ‘Venus Papers’ (due for publication by Burning Eye Books, September 2015) – plus much more, currently in progress. As for Shruti, expect fireworks….

Introducing, Shruti Chauhan:

Shruti Chauhan is a poet, writer and spoken word artist based in Leicester. She first worked with Three the Hard Way as part of our (part one) launch. At the time we were inundated with audience calls for her to join us on the road for the rest of it – so in 2015, we’re thrilled to comply! Over the course of the last year she’s gone on to perform as part of a range of other major UK tours, including John Berkavitch’s Shame and Art Reach’s Night of Festivals – performing with Jess Green and Tongue Fu.

Shruti has performed at festivals and events across the Midlands, including: An Indian Summer, Barefoot, Leicester and Loughborough Mela, and Inside Out at Curve Theatre, Leicester – and has been a featured act at WORD!, the longest running spoken word night in the Midlands.

She has a first-class degree in English and has been mentored by the experimental poet, Mark Goodwin, working on collaboration across media, audio poetry and recording. A properly clued-up young woman, she’s also on the Board of Directors at Writing East Midlands, the writer development agency for the East Midlands.

Shruti’s interested in working across languages. She is multilingual, fluent in English, Gujarati and Hindi and competent in German, Italian and Sanskrit. Aside from writing, she takes vocal training in Indian classical music and enjoys dancing – an art form she currently practises through Indian folk and contemporary movement.

Things people have said about Shruti:

‘There is a relaxed theatricality about her work.’ ~  Helen Ivory

‘An original voice in a sea of imitations.’ ~ John Berkavitch

So, all in all – you can hopefully see why we’re feeling so excited!

As in 2014, our Part Two tour will include a new roster of specially invited guest artists – and a full programme of workshops, again substantially developed for this second phase. Each two hour session will combine exercises drawing on each of our  cultural & artistic backgrounds; explore voice through Caribbean rhythms; movement in writing and performance, drawing on classical Indian dance; European poetic forms – psycho-geography, politics, identity and the journey between each.

We could go on. Imagine the current phone bills between us – and thank the universe that Jean has recently discovered Skype!

More to follow…!

Bye for now ( from Lydia x 🙂 )

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