Singing is good for the soul but so are peace love and spuds
COMEDIAN, musician and poet John Hegley is looking forward to returning to Quad in Derby with a varied show based around his new collection of verse.
Called Peace, Love & Potatoes, the work contemplates everything from France, family and libraries to Daleks and, of course, potatoes.
His poems are by turns funny, moving, thought-provoking and always sparklingly original.
Peace, Love & Potatoes opens a new window onto John's vivid way of seeing the world and, to bring the book to life, he has also made a seven minute-long film based around the poems, which will be screened at Quad as part of his show on December 14.
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He says: "The film has been shot over the course of a year and is pretty accessible to all from nine-year-olds upwards.
"I will also be doing some singing during the evening and I certainly hope that the audience will join in. Singing is very good for the soul."
John is from North London and is a graduate of Bradford University, but his first public performances involved busking outside a shoe shop – in Hull – in the late 1970s.
Now he is a frequent radio performer, has produced 10 books of verse and prose, is an Edinburgh Festival regular and occasionally turns his hand to being a DJ, dancer and workshop leader.
He says: "Singing has always been my first love but I do enjoy writing. Word play seems to be something I have an aptitude for."
John's latest volume of poetry provides a somewhat reflective, though inevitably comic, look at life – prompted by him reaching the precarious age of 59. Its title comes from a short poem about his parents' relationship.
He says: "I tend to write about what is inspiring me at the time and family relationships feature heavily in this volume. My parents, grandparents, my 17-year-old daughter and especially my dad are all strong themes in the book – but I also wanted to make the volume a palatable stew that appeals to all, so I threw in a few potatoes.
Although John feels strongly about losing library services and health service cuts, he isn't overtly political in his poetry.
"In terms of my writing, I am looking to entertain," he says. "My aim is to enchant people, provoke a few thoughts and, hopefully, they will take away with them a bit of peace and a bit of love and a few potatoes, too."
WHAT: John Hegley: Peace, Love And Potatoes
WHERE: Quad, Derby
WHEN: Friday, December 14, 7.30pm
ADMISSIONS: £12, £9 concessions
TICKETS: Call 01332 285444 or visit www.derbyquad,co.uk
Peace, Love and Potatoes
Wed in 1944,
kept on peeling from the pick
of the potato sack,
with the occasional knack
of getting their jackets off
all in one piece.
Quite a trick. A quiet feat,
like her and dad's feeling for each other: