Hear contemporary poems from around the world given fresh life and meaning by a cast of three actors, with live music

A new theatre production is giving voice to some of the world’s best – but often unheard – writers.

In Beyond the Water’s Edge: Poetry from our World, contemporary poems from around the world are performed on stage by three actor-musicians, with original music composed by the cast.

With writing drawn from every continent, this is a production packed with stories that move and inspire. The human drama of love, loss and re-birth sits alongside the comedy of daily life in a captivating series of portraits, presented through the words of some of the world’s best poets.

Beyond the Water’s Edge features writing from dozens of countries, from Chile to Estonia and all points between. Well-known poets whose work features in the production include the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, who won the Nobel Prize the Literature in 2011, and the celebrated German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht.

However many of the writers are not often heard or performed in the UK – and some have even experienced censorship in their country of origin. Romanian poet Marin Sorescu managed to write beautifully witty poems despite living at a time when his country regularly persecuted writers. Some writers give the human experience of migration and asylum, in particular from the Middle East and Africa.


Directed by Steve Byrne from Interplay Theatre, Beyond the Water’s Edge uses poems published by Bloodaxe Books with original music by the company and set design by Talking Birds. Beyond the Water’s Edge is performed by Jill Dowse, Dan McGarry and Nate Ryan.

This brand new poetry-in-performance show comes to Birmingham Literature Festival on Sunday 9 October and Off The Shelf Festival (Sheffield) on Monday 10 October.

Beyond the Water’s Edge is produced by Midland Creative Projects in partnership with Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Bloodaxe Books. It is supported by Arts Council England with artistic support from Modern Poetry in Translation and the Poetry Translation Centre.

Off the Shelf Festival of Words 2016, Sheffield – Monday 10th October, 7.45pm