Canal Street Online Manchester

Performance poet Jay Delise in Manchester

Performance poet Jay Delise in Manchester

Born and raised in Monmouth County New Jersey, USA, Jay has performed at locations such as Pratt University, The United Nations, The Pulitzer Center, and Carnegie Hall. She has featured in publications including Broadway World, and Huffington Post, as well as This Poem is for The Black Girls being published in Glass: A Journal of Poetry. 

Jay said: "I did a show called Embodied in New York. It was a devised spoken word show with my theatre company, a cast of seven or eight. So that was fun, but this is the first time I have performed a full show by myself. It is nerve wracking, but exciting."

Black And... at Gullivers on Oldham Street on Wednesday 10, Thursday 11 and Friday 12 July at 6pm focusses on the growing up of a queer black girl living in America. It goes through the highs and lows of discovering oneself and acquiring the tools to express that. It’s funny, and angry, and it pulls no punches. 

It tackles subjects like absent fathers, sexuality, gender, learning one's worth, body image, race, and many other crucial central ideas that arise in the lives of black queer girls all across the world. It seeks to create something that black girls needed to see represented in theatre; themselves.

"It's a show that I thought was really important because growing up in Africa being black, being a woman and being queer... that's a lot of things to deal with. It's a lot of interactions to live at and engage with. A lot of that representation is not usually there, especially in theatre. So I thought it was important to make a show that was created for us, by us, and I hope everyone feels great about it and engage with it. I want as many people as possible to see it. I think it is a very important conversation to have, across coasts."

Jay, who has performed poetry at Verbose in Manchester, says her show will be accessible for UK audiences: "I think it will translate. At the core of the show, it is about a teen girl and I think a big theme of being a teenager is wanting to belong and wanting to be loved, bing seen and appreciated. I think that is something that everyone engages with. There is something for everyone.

"It's going really well. I've got a lot of helpful feedback. It's been a good back and forth, looking at the order of the show and the staging. It's been super hard. I didn't know it'd be that hard. I feel like I'm in a good place."

She is hoping GMFringe will be a launch pad for Edinburgh Fringe: "If I do it this time and I do it right, the world is my oyster." More about Jay.

GMFringe is an open access arts festival and is inviting venues throughout Greater Manchester that want to take part to get in touch as soon as possible.

Venues that have registered so far include The Eagle Inn, The Kings Arms, Salford Arts Theatre, Footlights, Gullivers, Hatch, the Anthony Burgess Foundation, Lock 91, Miners Community Arts and Music Centre, Moston Small Cinema, Night & Day Café, The Met (Bury), The Peer Hat, The Way Theatre / Studio (Atherton), Tribeca, Twenty Twenty Two Bars, Whitefield Garrick Theatre and Z-arts.

The deadline for registering a show at those venues - and featuring in the A4 colour brochure - is Friday 26 April 2019. 

Shows can include new writing, revivals, stand up, sketch shows, clowning, dance, visual arts, live music, magic, poetry, physical theatre, club nights, choirs, children's shows, new ideas are welcome! 

Many past productions have moved onto established theatres, such as Bolton Octagon, Lowry Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre, HOME theatre, national tours and have been recognised at the Manchester Theatre Awards.

Greater Manchester Fringe is organised by Zena Barrie, who also organizes Camden Fringe and has worked for the Etcetera Theatre in London and the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh; Lisa Connor, landlady of the Kings Arms and former manager of the Lass O’Gowrie; and Iain Scott of Canal Street Online, Unlock Manchester and WGD Mcr

It is supported by Write for the Stage, who organize an annual new writing award enabling the winning writer to see their play published.

There are eight free registrations available for people on low incomes that want to take part in GMFringe in July 2019. For more details email 

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday 1 May 2019. For more details visit below

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Published: 22-Mar-2019 Top Stories

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