I first met Kate Fox to speak to when she performed at Seven Arts Centre in Chapel Allerton, Leeds. That doesn’t seem long ago, but it must be at least 3 years. Kate Fox is not the most famous spoken word performer I have ever conversed with, but she is the most famous spoken word performer I have spoken to for that amount of time, and who spoke to me as if she was not trying to get away, and might even consider speaking to me again, on another occasion.
During my doomed attempt to put together an alternative literature festival in Wakefield in 2018, Kate Fox was, again, the most famous writer and performer who said she might be available during the time in question. She quoted what seemed to me to be a reasonable fee. She kept telling me that she is “not Kate Tempest”. What Kate Fox meant by that was that she did not consider herself to be a safe bet to fill a large venue. That wasn’t a problem for me: I was looking for a top quality performer that people who don’t go to live spoken word events might have heard of. If you have had your own series on BBC Radio 4, then that counts as “might have heard of”. A review of one of Kate Fox’s programmes appears on this blog. My reaction to, “I’m not Kate Tempest” was, “Good.”
The purpose of the forthcoming tour is to broadcast the history of Northern women who Kate Fox thinks have not received enough – or, in some cases, any – recognition. It is a departure from Kate Fox’s accustomed “stand-up poetry”, because it incorporates music, film, and at least one other performer. It is more complex than simply standing next to a microphone and talking, to the point that it has its own director, Annie Rigby.
The tour starts in Wakefield, at the Theatre Royal, which is less than 5 minutes walk from Wakefield Westgate station. You can buy tickets for the Wakefield performance here:
Kate Fox is a performer who is both capable of the unexpected, and also faultless in getting the basics of material, funny/serious balance, and delivery right. I am excited at the prospect of seeing and hearing her including other elements in her act.