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Heading for Edinburgh? Here are some spoken word shows to look out for

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Here’s just a taster of some of the spoken word shows at the PBH Free Fringe that have caught our eye. Jess Green’s YouTube poem, ‘Dear Mr Gove’, went viral last year and has had over 300,000 views.  Her Edinburgh show, Burning Books, is described as “a powerful and humorous social commentary on the state of education and the stories of the people who survive within it”, underscored by a rousing soundtrack from her band, The Mischief Thieves.

Louise Fazackerley started out at Write Out Loud Wigan – and look at her now, at Edinburgh with her Love is a Battlefield show, which was featured on The Verb as a Radio 3 New Voices competition winner.   

Kate Fox joins forces with rising Yorkshire folkstars Union Jill in Letting Off Steam, a union of “soaring harmonies and deprecating wit”,while award-shortlisted performance poet Jemima Foxtrot’s Melody fuses spoken word and song “to tell a story of memory, childhood, joy, displacement, heartbreak and belonging”. As it says, we thought her “a revelation” when we saw her back in January on the shortlist for the Arts Foundation performance poetry award. Sarah Hirsh’s How Was It For you? What on earth is flirting? unravels what it is to be single for the first time since being a teenager. Meanwhile Tina Sederholm's The Good Delusion investigates the paradoxical nature of goodness, and find out how to survive when being good turns bad.   

Familiar Fringe names such as Phill Jupitus and Dan Simpson are back, and as well as the famous BBC slam, there‘s also Hammer & Tongue’s poetry slam. There will also be performances of Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol, with all funds raised going to Amnesty. 

And the prize for wackiest show? Well, Free Fringe veteran James McKay has come up with The Boy with the Moomin Tattoo, which documents his obsession with all things Moomin  (he has had the tattoo for 20 years). Non-Moomin fans are welcome, too.


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