Heathcote Williams' radical work on how poetry has f*cked off authority figures performed by spoken word artists at The Edinburgh Fringe

New stretch target

Our Stretch Target


We will using extra funds to promote a nationwide tour of the project from Sept 2015 - December 2016

We want to bring Heathcote Williams' radical new work 'Poetry Can F*ck Off’ to the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

Poetry f*cks off tyrants. Incendiary words from revolutionary wordsmiths have changed the world. In this show leading spoken word artists give voice to Williams’ extraordinary text. They demonstrate how the right words in the right place get under the skin of those in power and bring about lasting change.

Quoting, in quick-fire succession, the lyrics and verse of Jim Morrison, Billie Holiday, Sophie Scholl, Martin Luther King, William Blake, Arundhati Roy, Victor Jara, Gil Scott-Heron, Lupe Fiasco and many others, the event is a celebration of those who have spoken out against tyranny while making our hearts pound. 

It will be performed by award winning performers Roy Hutchins, Sameena Zehra, Selina Nwulu, Jonny Fluffypunk and underscored with live music from Dr Blue.

Previews during our research and development tour, under the title 'The Poetry Army',  received this feedback:

'A picker pucker panaroamic petry parade' - poet, John Hegley

'Poetry Army is a revolution in poetry. And it's the revolution in Poetry' - comedian Jeremy Hardy

‘a production of exquisite grace and beauty’ – reviewer and blogger, Sally Harrop

‘mind-swaying’ – beat generation poet, Michael McClure

‘deeply enriching... a magnificent poetic call-to-arms’ - poet, Jon Seagrave

Our last Edinburgh run, ‘Zanzibar Cats’, in 2010, culminated in Williams being awarded the most prestigious award of the festival: The Glasgow Herald Archangel Lifetime’s Achievement Award.

This new work is on a much bigger scale – it is an epic 5 performer piece with live music, that charts the great resistance movements from the Peasants’ Revolt to Occupy Wall Street. Over 80 poets are referenced in a 50 minute maelstrom of radical verse - a compendium of the courageous, creative voices who called for change, from Shelley to Ginsberg to Pussy Riot.

We will be playing from August 14-22nd  at the prestigious Summerhall venue:

'the most compelling new art space in Edinburgh, perhaps in the UK’. - Independent, 2013

‘every city in the world should have a Summerhall’ - Paul Morley, Newsnight Review, 2013

'one of the world's great arts venues' – Mark Cousins, Guardian, 2014 

To make this happen, Brainfruit, a registered, non-profit making charity - dedicated to supporting new writing and performance, needs to raise funds. We are inviting you to contribute to the production costs for the theatre run, namely: the venue hire and publicity.

Thank you for your time and consideration. To finish – here’s a quote from the show:


‘Poetry was school;

All poetry could fuck off.’


Roddy Doyle recalls,

Doyle doesn’t mention

The poems that have fucked off  

Authority figures –

The poems that trouble

Those with brains made rigid by

Being in the right...”


Doyle fails to mention

Poetry’s subversive power,

Its scabrous language.

When told of the death Of his Prime Minister –

An arch-reactionary

Who killed protestors –

Byron saw that he received Poetic justice:


Posterity will ne’er survey

A nobler grave than this

Here lie the bones of Castlereagh

Stop traveller and piss.’”


Poetry Can F*ck Off – Heathcote Williams 2015