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Off the Shelf in Sheffield


Press Release

The Venus Papers comes to Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Festival.

October 13th, 2017


Tickets (in advance): £6/£5 (concs)

Venue: DINA, 32A – 34 Cambridge St, S1 4HP




Image: Ambrose Musiyiwa

A new theatrical poetry show of arrivals, departures, landscapes and journeys, written and performed by Lydia Towsey.

“One of the new, intriguing voices of her time.” 
Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, MBE

“Absolutely spectacular” Jo Ivie, Poet in the City

The Venus Papers

What if Venus, the Roman Goddess of love and beauty, washed up on a beach at this moment in time?

Experience tales of 21st century women – every-woman, immigrant, traveler, outsider – in a time of social, cultural and political turmoil and change.

The writer / performer Lydia Towsey states: “The Venus Papers is about how we look – at ourselves, each other, and the world – and how others influence the way we do so…from marketing and the media, to representations of women and the (fe)male gaze, to the political machine.

I’m writing and performing as a poet, and also a woman, a life model, and a new mother; someone who is a part time NHS employee, and who has a previous experience of an eating disorder.  I use humour, satire and wordplay as well as poems and movement to explore these themes. Taking Botticelli’s Venus as a starting point – the first recorded example of a female nude painted and exhibited life size – and also, someone arriving on a beach, naked and vulnerable – the show engages with society, politics and culture, including the European migration crisis, Brexit, and other issues that are unfolding and affecting us all in our daily lives.”

Directed by Rachel Mars and Nick Field
Paintings by Scott Bridgwood
Music by Dave Dhonau and Ola Szmidt
Choreography by Louise Katerega
Design by Kate Unwin
Curation by Melanie Abrahams
Photography by Ambrose Musiyiwa
Produced by Renaissance One
Developed through funding by Arts Council England

Lydia Towsey is a poet and performer who has been featured on the Spoken Word All Stars Tour, Decibel, Freedom Showcase and Beyond Words’ U.K. tour of South African poetry. A former International Artist-In-Residence at Theatre Royal Stratford East, she has for the last six years been posing as an artist model, challenging notions of the ‘passive nude’.

The Venus Papers poetry collection is published by Burning Eye Books (2015)
Show and Tour supported by Attenborough Arts and Writing East Midlands.
Funded by Arts Council England.
Twitter #VenusPapers

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