Poet John Hegley brings new show - New and Selected Potatoes - to Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre

Poet John Hegley
Poet John Hegley

Poet John Hegley makes a welcome return to Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre with his new show, New and Selected Potatoes.

The ‘interactive lyricist’ has 30 years’ experience at the Edinburgh Fringe, where some years ago he was nominated for the Comedy Award: but it's not just joking.

New and Selected Potatoes is an exuberance of songs, drawings and poems and baroque dance steps with material encompassing furniture, fig rolls, fisher-birds and a trip to Rotherham Library.

The show, which will also include a new poem written specifically for the Stephen Joseph Theatre performance, draws on the audience's singing and movement potential and upon pieces in the book of this name, in which reside the author's family alongside John Keats, Giacometti and some Daleks.

John Hegley was born in North London in 1953 but soon moved with his family to Luton. Before attending Bradford University to study European Literature and Sociology, he worked as a bus conductor and as a civil servant. He began his performing career at Interaction (a tiny campus in North London which specialised in playful participatory theatre outreach and goat care), was discovered in 1983 by John Peel as part of the band The Popticians, and now enjoys a cult following among fans of subversive comedy.

His surreal poetry is often heard on BBC radio and widely performed live, often set to music that is played by the poet himself. He has published ten books, including Glad to Wear Glasses (1990) and other titles of verse, prose and drama, several of which are illustrated with his drawings. He has also published a collection of photographs of potatoes.

John Hegley is one of three poets performing at the theatre in May, the others being Luke Wright, who brings his new show Luke Wright, Poet Laureate on May 4, and Rowan McCabe, the ‘world’s first door-to-door poet’ on May 15.

Poetry lovers can see all three on a ‘three shows for the price of two’ offer.

New and Selected Potatoes can be seen in the McCarthy at 7.45pm on Thursday May 9. Tickets are priced from £10, and can be booked at the box office on 01723 370541 or via the website: www.sjt.uk.com