Where There’s Muck, There’s Bras
My new show is called Where There’s Muck, There’s Bras. It’s a funny and thought-provoking show, which sees me and actor Joey Holden explore the Northern women you’ve heard of (and the ones you haven’t).
The performance lecture uncovers the hidden history of the writers, scientists, sportswomen, politicians, protestors, musicians and other heroines who make up a far more diverse North than we usually see.
We debuted it on 23rd and 24th June, as part of the opening of the Great Exhibition of the North, at Live Theatre. It sold out and people loved it. We’ll be touring the North in Spring 2019.
(Photo by Warren Draper)
“Fabulous, feminist and funny”- Morning Star.
“Winning, witty and wise”- Acumen.
Kate Fox works mainly as a stand-up poet. She has made two comedy series called The Price of Happiness for Radio 4 about things she’s supposed to want but doesn’t. She has been Poet in Residence for the Great North Run, Glastonbury Festival and Radio 4’s Saturday Live, and worked extensively facilitating writing and performing projects for schools, community groups and festivals. She has performed her poetry on BBC1 and BBC2 as well as numerous radio shows. She has supported acts including Linton Kwesi Johnson, Hollie McNish, John Cooper Clarke and John Hegley and is a headline act in her own right. She is currently working on a show for the Great Exhibition of the North, about sung and unsung Northern women, called “Where There’s Muck here’s Bras”. In 2018 she completed a PhD at the University of Leeds about class, gender, Northern Englishness and stand-up and has published several academic papers and book chapters on comedy and performance. She originally trained as a radio journalist and loves having a varied career which means that one minute she can be interviewing Sting or Sarah Millican on stage, the next, she can be talking about class and comedy at a comedy festival and the next, performing her poems in a pub, an arena or on Radio 3, or sitting down and writing about talking trees, women in mills or a telly vet. Her poetry collections have been published by Burning Eye Books, Smokestack and Valley Press, among others.
Her second Radio 4 comedy series aired in summer 2018. In the shows she talked about why she doesn’t want: children, a big white wedding, to be middle class or have a Hollywood body! (First series on iPlayer here: The Price of Happiness). She was one of the 17 poets for the BBC/Hull 2017 Contains Strong Language Poetry Festival (Great film about her commission here: Women of Words film). Her books include Chronotopia, just out from Burning Eye Books (ORDER IT HERE! Chronotopia) and Fox Populi from Smokestack Books. She has been poet in residence for the Great North Run, Saturday Live on Radio 4 and the Glastonbury Festival.
Oh- also, she recently invented a new word for when humour and seriousness combine: Humitas. Check it out here: The Conversation article
Here’s a recent nice profile from the Northern Echo which gives more info and background: Feature
ps: I AM NOT THE KATE FOX THE SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGIST WHO WROTE WATCHING THE ENGLISH. NOT HER, NO. DO NOT GET IN TOUCH TO ASK ME TO TALK ABOUT WHY ENGLISH PEOPLE QUEUE AND DRINK TEA. THOUGH I HAVE THOUGHTS ON THIS AND MANY OTHER THINGS.
Kate Fox is a writer and a performer with comedy, Northernness and asking awkward questions running through everything she does.
As a stand-up poet she has been in demand at literature festivals across the country.
Her solo comedy shows have toured from the Edinburgh Fringe to the Southbank Centre and been broadcast on Radio 4.
She has undertaken many commissions- from being Great North Run and Glastonbury Festival Poet in Residence to creating pieces for the Great North Passion on BBC1, the Daily Politics Show on BBC2 and “The Verb” on Radio 3. She was one of the “Hull 17” poets for the BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival during the City of Culture year and is currently working on a show called “Where There’s Muck There’s Bras” about the unsung and (sung) women of the North of England for the Great Exhibition of the North.
She is a regular speaker on panels and radio shows and a writer of poems, stories and journalism.
She successfully defended her PhD at the University of Leeds in February 2018. She had a full-time scholarship to look at class, gender, Northernness and solo stand-up performance and is folding her new research skills into her practice as a comedian and poet, and her poetry and comedy into her research. She recently contributed poems, using a “Poetic Inquiry” method (Writing poems after thematically analysing interviews she did about residents’ reactions to the festival) to Hull 2017’s Evaluation Report.
She is also an active member of the live literature community and has mentored many writers and performers, facilitated many bespoke writing and performance workshops everywhere from schools to communities and universities and has run and promoted many live literature gigs and projects.
She is increasingly interested in diversity in the arts, culture and entertainment. Particularly through her work as Creative Case Poet in Residence for Arts Council North, 2013-16, her many creative workshops with young people in deprived areas, women in comedy workshops and her activism as a poet and performer. As well as campaigning for more representation of working class people and women in the arts, she is interested in neurodiversity. Neurodiversity means recognising how the strengths and challenges of such conditions as autism, ADD, Tourettes and Dyslexia can add valuable alternative perspectives to the world. She is a Cultural Ambassador for the National Autistic Society.
Kate grew up in Bradford, originally trained and worked as a radio journalist, and lives in North Yorkshire with her husband and cocker spaniel.
Some quick links:
Recent poem: Recent poem on the poet Kim Moore’s blog
Lass War protest: Some info
Kate Fox in the National Portrait Gallery: Link to Portrait and Blurb about it.
Her two Radio 4 shows on iPlayer: The Price of Happiness
Her book Fox Populi from Smokestack Press: Buy here
A video poem about the importance of tea (commissioned by Yorkshire Festival): Here
A poem ITV filmed before she set off to be Glastonbury Festival Poet in Residence: Here
Do get in touch with gig queries, questions, thoughts, kind words….