Burning Books
“Green has struck a chord with exhausted teachers up and down the country” – The Guardian

What should schools do when they are losing so many teachers?

“A play that will ring true for every teacher in the country!” – National Union Teachers

On Teach First student Kat’s first day at Hurstville Community College, Nicky Morgan announces forced academistation for all state schools. Kat is ready for the picket line but her attempts to join the NUT are met with contempt by union stalwart Janine. The head teacher is invisible and the staff are more concerned about losing their staff room, disappearing books and a History teacher who hasn’t been seen for weeks.

 

A powerful and humorous look at an education system buckling under government cuts and targets. A story of protest and the teachers who choose to fight back.

View trailer here

UK Tour

September

4th - 7th - Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle

8th - Rutland Museum Theatre, Leicestershire

11th - Merlin Theatre, Frome

14th - Bridport Arts Centre

15th - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate

18th -Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

21st - 22nd - Derby Theatre

29th - Old Fire Station, Oxford

October

6th - Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester

11th - John Peel Centre, Stowmarket

20th - Countesthorpe College Theatre, Leicestershire (NEU event)

November

19th - Hope Street Theatre, Liverpool

23rd - Quorn Grange Hotel, Leicestershire (a GFTU event)

Background

Burning Books is an adaptation of a music and poetry show of the same name which I took to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 and 2015 with my band, Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves before touring it nationally in autumn 2015 to venues including Roundhouse, Richmix, Komedia Brighton and Unity Theatre, Liverpool.

 

Both in Edinburgh and on the tour we received a host of 5* reviews:

“Jess Green cares about education. It’s written all over her face and in every word of every poem she performs. She really cares – and that’s what makes it impossible to tear your eyes away from her.” – Broadway Baby

 

As well as critical acclaim from both Scroobius Pip and Josie Long:

 

“Somehow Jess manages to be hard hitting in a way that's so subtle you don't realise until the bruises comes up” – Scroobius Pip

 

“It’s brilliant! I loved it!” – Josie Long

 

The poems in the poetry show were from my poetry collection, Burning Books published in 2015 by Burning Eye Books and shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award.

During the development of the show I wrote a poem called Dear Mr Gove which received over 300,000 views on Youtube and was reviewed by:

The Independent - “An internet sensation”

The Guardian - “Punchy, she struck a chord”

 The Huffington Post - “Brilliant. Her words have certainly struck a chord with teachers”

In 2016, with the support from The Arts Council I developed the show in to a stage play which I workshopped with professional actors directed by Julia Thomas (National Theatre Wales, National Theatre Studio). This culminated in two rehearsed readings in front of an audience of peers, theatre professionals and teachers.

 

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

 

“Gripping and powerful”

“It had more impact than I expected. I was left unable to breathe”

“I spent the final minutes wanting to jump out of my chair and join your characters on the stage, I had to stop myself from waving my hands in their air and whooping”

The play now tours nationally.