￼Press Release – August 28, 2015
Three the Hard Way – Part Two: On Tour
This autumn, join three powerful poets – Jean Binta Breeze MBE, a Jamaican; Lydia Towsey of Hungarian and Welsh descent and Shruti Chauhan of Gujarati origin – as they proudly present ‘Three the Hard Way – Part Two’ the stand alone follow up to a highly successful UK tour.
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 80s. Following a rave reviewed UK tour in 2014 – ‘Three the Hard Way – Part Two’ once again re-appropriates the format to explore contemporary women’s issues, politics and culture.
‘It is indeed rare to see three women of three different generations and three different continents coming together on the same stage – discussing the same issues and telling the stories of themselves and their sisters.’
The show will play for a whirlwind of ten October dates, visiting major centres and venues up and down the country – including Manchester’s Contact Theatre, London’s Free Word Centre and Brighton’s Writer’s Place – as well as more rural and or/intimate locations, from libraries in Shrewsbury and Northampton – to Bilston Town Hall, Loughborough University and Upstairs at the Western, Leicester’s only pub theatre.
Coinciding with Black History Season and in the wake of recent political debates, the performers will engage with a number of contemporary questions, including ‘Who is your neighbour?’ – an online campaign currently unfolding in the run up to the tour, with audiences and artists invited to film and upload their own poetic responses. Contributors to the campaign so far include eminent poets, George Szirtes and Aoife Mannix, amongst others.
The tour will be a rare opportunity to see Jean Binta Breeze MBE back in the UK – the world’s first female dub poet, now Jamaica based (‘one of the most important, influential performance poets of recent years’ – British Council, Literature)- as well as introducing newer voices to a wider public, including that of Three the Hard Way veteran, Lydia Towsey. The tour will also be a chance to hear Lydia perform from her brand new full length collection, The Venus Papers (published by Burning Eye Books, September 2015.)
‘We’re so excited to be continuing on our UK journey – and now welcoming new addition, Shruti Chauhan – an extremely talented young poet, multilingual across English, Gujarati and Hindi, German, Italian and Sanskrit! Together we think our voices, styles and languages combine to create something quite unique.
Following this second year on the road, in 2016 we’ve been invited to bring the work to Jamaica – at the invitation of Jamaica’s Poet Lauriate, Mervyn Morris – and have plans to then visit other countries. We’re thrilled with the attention and interest the show appears to have stimulated.’
The tour will be accompanied by a programme of workshops and welcomes an audience of men and women to explore our times, from the personal to the political – and celebrate diversity.
From Lydia Towsey’s – ‘I devour the map of my grandmother’s country/utter its street names, recite its parks.’…’ to Shruti Chauhan ‘People ask about the words/that make up my language;/not words, I say -/they are worlds.’ …to Jean Binta Breeze’s fusion of Leicester and Jamaican colloquial language – ‘I know mi duck, I know..’
Together they will sing of sisterhood and connections that cross continents, age and gender – reflecting on the pain and the joy and giving voice to the many moments in between.
For more information, resources or interviews please contact Lydia Towsey: