John Hegley and Sara Pascoe - Live at the RSC

29 November 2013

Sunday 9 February 2014, 7.30pm
Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Tickets: £5-£15, 0844 800 1110 or buy tickets online

John Hegley and Sara Pascoe are joined by Byron Vincent and Hollie McNish in the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on Sunday 9 February 2014 for an evening of poetry, comedy and music.

John Hegley is a performance poet, comedian, musician and songwriter, and was the Keats House Poet in Residence in 2012. John has been described as the Spike Milligan for our time and is a consistent favourite at the Edinburgh Festival. With over half a dozen bestselling books under his belt, he is not to be missed.

Sara Pascoe has achieved great success as an actor and standup comedian. Her show Sara Pascoe Vs The Truth received fantastic reviews and critical acclaim at this year's Edinburgh festival. Sara has performed as a panelist on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, QI and Don't Sit in the Front Row, as well as performing stand up on Live At The Apollo and Stand Up For The Week. Further television credits include Twenty Twelve, The Thick of It and Being Human.

Byron Vincent was BBC poetry's new talent choice 2010: given that this happened several years into his career, neither the words 'new' or 'talent' seem particularly pertinent. Byron was one of the commissioned artists as part of the RSC and Google's Midsummer Night's Dreaming project this Summer.

Hollie McNish is a published poet and spoken word artist who straddles the boundaries between the literary, poetic and pop scenes. She was UK Slam poetry champion in 2009, representing the UK and finishing 3rd behind Canada and the USA in the World Poetry Slam Finals in Paris. She has released two poetry albums, Touch and Push Kick, both to critical acclaim.

Previous Live At The RSC performances in Stratford-upon-Avon have included comedians David Baddiel, Chris Addison, Russell Kane and Greg Davies (with Chris Ramsey appearing on 2 February 2014), and singers KT Tunstall, Teddy Thompson and Neil Hannon.

For more information and photos, please contact:
Dean Asker
RSC Press Office
01789 412660,


John Hegley

The writer and performer John Hegley has been described as the Spike Milligan for our time, and as 'awesomely mundane' by The Independent.

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 out-reach 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.

Hegley frequently visits classrooms to help teach children who love his delight in language and offbeat clowning. And in his public performances he often retains a sort of mock-teacherly authority.

His appeal to children arises from his directness, his being easy to understand, and his jokes - about smelly dogs, glasses, Luton bungalows, handkerchiefs and the misery of human existence.

Sara Pascoe

Sara made her comedy debut in 2007 and has since established herself as one of the most interesting and original comics around. Over the past three years Sara has had sell-out success with her critically acclaimed solo stand-up shows at the Edinburgh Festival, in London and across the country; and was duly named by Time Out as one of the 'Rising Stars of Comedy'.

She boasts an impressive array of TV credits including regular roles in the BAFTA nominated Twenty Twelve (BBC2), Campus (C4), Free Agents (C4), FIT (CBBC) and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (C4), and has played guest leads in the BAFTA winning comedy The Thick of It (BBC2) and Being Human (BBC3). She was also a series regular on Stand Up For The Week (C4), and has appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks (BBC2), Live at the Apollo (BBC1), QI (BBC2), The Comedy World Cup (C4) and Don't Sit in The Front Row (Sky).

Byron Vincent

From surreal punk rock disquisition about the socialist inclinations of the Smurfs to astutely acerbic examinations of the fraying tapestry of British culture. Byron's buttery fingers fumble the balls of comedy and lyricism with an almost heroic bewilderment.

Hailed as the natural heir to John Cooper Clarke, sink estate dandy and festival stalwart Byron Vincent has thrust a scrawny heel into theatre's bourgeois throat and spanked it until it's handed over its lunch money. One of BBC poetry season's New Talent Choices, Byron is a regular at the nation's most prestigious literary and music festivals.

He has performed several times on television and national radio, including Channel 4's Random Acts, Radio 4's Bespoken Word and BBC 3's The Verb. He was poet in Residence for the South West of England for Apples and Snake's ground breaking poetry project My Place or Yours. His first collection Barking Doggerel was released May 2010 on The Nasty Little Press. His debut collection of short stories is to be published by burning eye later this year.

He is compere and producer/programmer for one of The UK's most highly regarded Spoken Word nights at The Bristol Old Vic. Byron is also co-creator of bespoke story telling project Made Up, which in its first year won commissions from both MAYKs Mayfest in Bristol and Escalator East in Norwich.

Byron is currently writing a solo theatre show about his experiences as a patient in the mental health system and a stand-up comedy show exploring what it means to be contented.

Hollie McNish

Hollie McNish is a published UK poet and spoken word artist who straddles the boundaries between the literary, poetic and pop scenes. She was UK Slam poetry champion in 2009, representing the UK and finishing 3rd behind Canada and the USA in the World Poetry Slam Finals in Paris. She has released two poetry albums, Touch and Push Kick, both to critical acclaim, and a first collection of written poetry, Papers, published by Greenwich Exchange, London. She is currently working on her third album.

Hollie's online videos have repeatedly gone viral, with Mathematics, a poem focusing on UK immigration, receiving over 1 million youtube views in just over a week. She has garnered titles like “chick of the week” (MTV), “internet sensation” (Best Daily)”, “British mum silences breastfeeding critics with passionate poem” (Closer), and poet Benjamin Zephaniah stated “I can't take my ears off her”. Her latest poem “Embarrassed” was tweeted to fans by renowned singer Pink.

Hollie performs in venues as diverse as Glastonbury festival, the Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scotts Jazz Bar, London's Southbank Centre and Cambridge University. Her poems have appeared on Radio 4, XFM, MTV, Channel 4 and BBC 2. She has been commissioned by The Economist, Radio 4 Woman's Hour, the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, Channel 4 and with Apples and Snakes, the UK's leading performance poetry organization, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights March.

As well as the UK, Hollie has toured and run residencies in Belgium, Australia, France, Germany and Portugal, and for the British Council in Latvia and Poland. She has won Substanz, Germany's largest poetry slam, as well as being crowned Latvia's Poetry Slam Champion in 2011. Although mainly in English, she also writes partially in French and German.

As well as performing, Hollie runs a poetry in education organization Page to Performance.

She is from Reading. Her parents are both from Glasgow. She graduated from Cambridge University in 2005 and has a Masters in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She lives between Cambridge, London and Glasgow with her kid and partner. She can do 50 keepy uppys on her knees but none on her feet. Her favourite poet is Barry McGuire.

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