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A Self Help Guide...: To being in love with Jeremy Corbyn

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Jess Green is pretty keen on ol' Jezza. So much so that she wrote a handy self help guide about it, then turned it into a live show. You'll no doubt be thrilled to learn that Jess is bringing said show to Theatre Deli on Thursday 7 November and whether you're in love with Jeremy Corbyn or not, you're certainly very welcome to attend. We caught up with Jess to find out more about this intriguing piece of theatre...

What first prompted you to write A Self Help Guide to Being in Love With Jeremy Corbyn?

My publisher approached me to publish a new collection in 2017. I looked at what I'd been writing for two years and it was all poems about the Labour Party. I write every day so I realised I had a sort of diary of Corbyn's rise to popularity. I put the collection together whilst keeping one eye on turning the book into a live show.

I wanted to write something about my conflicted relationship with the Labour Party over the past 12 years and how Corbyn represented, for a generation of people, something which hadn't been at the forefront of the party in our lifetimes. Naturally, the show changes all the time. I rarely do the same show twice. It's always being updated and changed, so if you came to see the show in March when I began the tour it'll be quite different to the show I'm performing now, seven months on.

Political apathy is rife but the performing arts seem to be the perfect medium for opening channels of communication on difficult subjects. How does it feel to be at the forefront of such an important movement?

I don't think political apathy is rife. I think it was five years ago when people felt like they had little control over government because our leaders all seemed to be cut from the same cloth, but the two things that have sparked political activism are Corbyn and Brexit. The strength of feeling in this country is at a scarily tense level. Far-right protesters are motivated by politics.

I think that politically motivated extreme behaviour is born out of frustration and a lack of voice. As poncy as it sounds, the arts are a vehicle for communication which is why we need political art - on both sides of the spectrum - more than ever. Put your frustration into art rather than tweeting death threats at politicians.

What have been the most memorable responses to the show?

Hands down, an Eton-educated baron in the south west came to see it and said, "That was the best thing I've seen in ages. I disagreed with everything you said but I thought it was brilliant."

Can you describe the show in three words?

Not what (you're) expecting.

And finally, the question on everyone's lips - have you been out for tea with Jeremy yet?

Come see the show and find out.

by Felicity Jackson (she/her)

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