How do you fight back when your own heart tries to kill you?
Richard Tyrone Jones Has a Big Heart is the long-awaited, understandably-delayed debut one-man show from the poet, Director of & 39;Utter!& 39; and “Ringmaster of Spoken Word” (Three Weeks). In it, hear the lurid details of his near-near death from dilated cardiomyopathy, convoluted convalescence and learning to live with the condition which will probably kill you, through anecdosage, cardiomyopoetry and bisoproLOLs. For anyone who ever had a heart. Or failure...
In February 2010, I, healthy, cycling, non-alcoholic poet Richard Tyrone Jones, held my own joke funeral to mark my thirtieth birthday. Bad idea. Shortly after, I was struck down with dilated cardiomyopathy – heart failure. My heart became the weakened, baggy heart of an old man, my lungs bubbling with frothy phleghm and my legs unable to walk more than a few metres. What had caused this triple-decker sandwich of misery? And can being so dangerously ill actually improve your life?
Well, thankfully I& 39;ve written a show which answers these questions, and is also
“fascinating, sobering, hilarious, and ultimately uplifting.” - New Scientist
and “raw, at times graphic, and very funny.” - BBC Ouch!
We want to take the show to the Edinburgh Fringe and then on tour around the UK, with support from top local spoken word acts including Zena Edwards, as well as to publish the book of the show, with extra material, to entertain, help raise awareness about heart health (and to make people laugh doing so.) In total, it& 39;s going to cost £58,000. We& 39;re not asking you for all of that amount! But if we meet our sponsorship target of £2100, crowdfunding will show the Arts Council and other funders that there& 39;s a demand for the show.
Without funding, we& 39;ll be on at the Buxton & Camden fringes in 2011, and the Free Fringe in Edinburgh 2012 – it& 39;ll still be good, but that& 39;ll be about it.
But with funding, we can take the show to 15 towns over 39 nights, to 2,500+ people, with proper lighting, projection and sound, including a run at a high-profile Edinburgh venue such as The Pleasance. We will print 1000+ copies of the book of the show, featuring additional material and poems. Sponsors will receive copies of the book, tickets, an invite to the book launch and additional benefits (see & 39;Pledges& 39; below!)
If, through all this effort, I can save just one life... then it& 39;s probably not worth our while to be honest.
But if I can save two or three lives, or at least prevent people going through the experiences I describe in the show (grimly hilarious though they are), it will be worth it. That& 39;s why we need your involvement and investment.
With your involvement, we will raise £2,100 by 15th September 2011, the deadline for our Arts Council application.
Be a Braveheart, pledge £250 or more ...
All the below packages, plus a portrait of you drawn by Richard, and a performance of highlights of the show in your front room for an audience of your friends. Also, for the very first adopter, original copies of Richard’s working script filled with the crazy mnemonic doodles he used to learn the show!
Pledge £100 or more, you Love Heart!
As with & 39;Warm Heart& 39; plus a bespoke poem inspired by your own situation. Richard will write a villanelle, sonnet or ode to your favourite person, place or thing from information you provide. Or perhaps just to you and your own hubris. An ideal birthday present, or a frankly cheap way of
proposing. And it may even go in the book of the show...
Warm hearts pledge £60 or more and receive
The & 39;Big Heart& 39; package but with four tickets to any show, two paperback books, and a limerick written on the subject of your choice.
Have a Big Heart, and pledge £30 or more ...
As with & 39;Sweetheart& 39;, plus a paperback copy of the book with a personal thank you in the foreword (print run of 1000+), invite to the book launch and two tickets to any show in the run.
Be a Sweetheart, and pledge £20 or more ...
You’ll get a thankyou on the show website, in the Kindle / ebook version of the show (which you also get), a ticket to any show in the run, and a cheesy photograph with RTJ.
Pledge Packages for Writers ...
Those with Warm Hearts pledge £100 or more ...
As with a Big Heart (see above) plus a two-hour feedback session with Richard on your poetry set or pamphlet (up to 25 pages or minutes).
If you’re Wild at Heart, pledge £230 or more ...
As above, but instead of a feedback session, you’ll get a two-hour writing workshop with RTJ for your writing group or class.
Lionhearts, pledge £500 or more ...
As above, but instead of feedback or workshops, you’ll get a one week writing retreat with RTJ in a well-situated apartment in Paphos, Cyprus, Nov-Feb 2011/12 or 2012/3 (other dates according to availability, doesn’t include food or travel). You’ll make an inspirational visit to the birthplace of Aphrodite, go writing on the beach and take the most exclusive MisGuided tour ever. By the end, you will have the & 39;heart& 39; of either a pamphlet, novella or your own one-person show. And a hangover.
If you can think of any other way you& 39;d like to support the show, please get in touch: our Director Anthony Shrubsall is available for acting and public speaking workshops.
There are too many broken hearts in the world. There& 39;s too many dreams can be broken in two. Too many broken hearts in the world. So give us some money. Cheers!
Tell your friends!
Richard Tyrone Jones