Info for Venues – 1

What Are They Whispering? – a poetry show

Power. Who has it, who wants it, who tries to take it from you? The poets know. 

Jaybird believes that every poem ever written is about power in some form. What Are They Whispering?, our new poetry show, will nudge you or urge you to weigh up the balance of power in your own life.

The dynamic trio of poets whose work will charge up your audience is Imtiaz Dharker, Joe Dunthorne and John Stammers. Imtiaz’ poems are fixtures on exam syllabi, Joe’s work Submarine has just been made into a feature film, John is a well-loved, three book figure in the literary world. Their poems are questioning, funny, complex and bold, they welcome their readers into their worlds. We are all preparing to work with a director and designers to build a brand new show, based on poems they’ve written about power in both its rawest and most subtle states.

Our lighting and sound designer also knows about power – it thrums in the volume dial and the brightness fader. Poems and ideas will be enhanced and amplified with his projections, lighting and sound; every spoken word special effect from a whisper to a chorus, every lighting state from a firefly glimmer to a thunderbolt. Behind the scenes, he’s the one with his finger on the button.

These are the ingredients of a show which doesn’t exist yet. We’ll get them together in a rehearsal studio, apply a bit of lightning and – boom!


Designed to appeal to a general audience of theatre goers who love words, and poetry lovers who want to hear their favourites read in a new context. The poets involved have a very high profile in the poetry world, and are generous and engaging performers of their own work. 


Produced by Jaybird

Directed by Phoebe Stout 

Touring: September to December 2011

Fee: contact to discuss

Marketing: comprehensive digital and print marketing material and support supplied, marketing duties shared with the producers who are experienced live literature selling experts.

Education: free educational resources designed to stimulate poetry discussion and ideas supplied – one set suitable for 15+ students, one set suitable for reading groups etc.

Reviews of previous Jaybird poetry shows 

You Are Here, toured 2010. ‘Delicious, cheeky, uplifting, enchanting, quirky’ said the audience ‘Moving, enjoyable, linguistically thrilling, pleased, so very glad I came.’

Tilting the Mirror, toured 2007/8. ‘Inspirational, lyrical, well-rehearsed, beautifully conceived.  ‘Reflective, heartfelt, enlightening, testing, affirming’.

If you’re thinking about a live literature strand in your forthcoming programme, I would recommend this show Weight : three stories about secrets. It’s produced by Lewes Live Literature Productions, I saw it in a small theatre in Brighton last year – it’s a punch-packing treatment of a trio of short stories about loathing, lust and levitation  performed by an actor and the author herself. Contact LLL and say Jaybird sent you, and they’ll give you a 10% discount …


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