Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile on Tour: Reviews

Theatre

Lisa Holdsworth’s stage adaptation of Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile (with Freedom Studios) is touring across Yorkshire in June. It has received a series of extraordinary reviews in the press this week. These are just a few…

Vibrant and unsentimental, a shining example of site-specific work ★★★★ The Observer

A celebration of fierce, resilient women ” ★★★★ The Guardian

Poignant and resonant… a relevant and emotive caution against the one-size-fits-all approach of the privileged theatre industry” ★★★★ The Stage

The real deal” ★★★★ The Times

“A funny, desperately sad tale of a young woman whose blazing talent made her a once-in-a-generation dramatist” ★★★★ Mail on Sunday

“Compelling and totally believable… it honours Dunbar’s legacy in a manner of which she surely would have approved” ★★★★ Yorkshire Post

“Powerful and convincing” ★★★★ The Reviews Hub

“A deeply human celebration of a young, female, regional, working-class voice who was important not in spite of, but because of, the life she led and the place she came from” ★★★★ Broadway World

“This brutally honest and beautifully written work, performed by a cast who really get it, would have had Andrea raising a glass to them in The Beacon” ★★★★ North West End

Lively, engaging and packs one hell of a punch” British Theatre Guide

A really impressive feat of acting and staging” The Culture Vulture 

“The truth does hurt, but thank goodness Dunbar chose to tell it”  The Independent 

Fat White Family Hit Paydirt: Serfs Up! Reviewed

Music

I have written the lead review on Fat White Family’s new LP for The Quietus. “There is no darkness like that of a bleak Yorkshire winter, days when the light barely rises and outside the streets are pounded with relentless horizontal rain. It is fitting that from this climate and post-industrial landscape emerges Serfs Up!, a shimmering spectacle of delight. Recorded at Champzone Studios in Attercliffe, Sheffield, Fat White Family’s third album should be regarded alongside their forebears – Cabaret Voltaire, Human League and Pulp – as a welcome addition to the musical canon of Steel City…”

Andrea Dunbar’s life story to be staged in Bradford pub

Theatre

I’m pleased to announce that my novel Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile is being adapted for the stage by Lisa Holdsworth and Freedom Studios in 2019. Chris Wiegand wrote a feature about the new play in today’s Guardian, “A new drama is to revisit the life and early death of Andrea Dunbar, the playwright who became a sensation with Rita, Sue and Bob Too, a dark comedy inspired by the Yorkshire housing estate where she lived. The play, written by Lisa Holdsworth, will be staged in a pub in Dunbar’s native Bradford in May next year. It is adapted from Adelle Stripe’s strikingly atmospheric novel about Dunbar, which captures Dunbar’s experience of poverty and abuse, her quick wit and her flair as a playwright. Holdsworth says her adaptation doesn’t give a voice to the men who mistreated Dunbar but instead focuses on ‘women’s relationships and how they quietly get on with things and get things done…'”

Visit Freedom Studios‘ website for tickets and further information

Eight Days Left

Art, Books

Eight Days Left is a new short story by Adelle Stripe that was commissioned by Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Art Gallery in response to the Martin Parr Return to Manchester exhibition. It was performed in the Gallery on Wednesday 5th December as part of the 2018 Manchester Literature Festival. The story, which is inspired by one day in the life of a Salford funeral director, is now available to read at Manchester Review. An audio version can be heard on Soundcloud…

York Press: Little Apple’s Book of the Week

Books

Philippa Morris, of Petergate’s Little Apple Bookshop, has made Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile ‘Book of the Week’ in this weekend’s York Press

“The novel is gripping and written with real insight. The Buttershaw estate is described in gruesome detail, as is the violence Dunbar experiences and the poignant unravelling of her young life. It is not all grim though: there are plenty of funny anecdotes. I particularly enjoyed the bits when Andrea goes to London to work on her play. It is so far removed from her own world and the way Stripe describes it brings into clarity how fake it must have seemed to Dunbar.At one point, someone spends £48 on a round of cocktails (more than most people earn in a week) and Dunbar keeps the receipt to show her mum.This is a story about the difficulty of having no aspirations or expectations and about having no one to help or guide you through an alien environment. A gritty northern novel everyone should read.”

The Short, Reckless Life of Andrea Dunbar: Black Teeth Reviewed in The Spectator

Books

There’s a fantastic review of Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile by Andy Miller in this week’s Spectator:

“Stripe’s novel mixes fiction and biography in a manner that brings to mind the work of the late Gordon Burn. It fizzes like two Disprin in a pint of cider. The author’s voice and Dunbar’s mingle to create not just a portrait of an artist — funny, mischievous, reckless and truthful — but also divisions of class, geography and opportunity which continue to shape this country. You can read it in an afternoon and should; there are too few British novels as effervescent or as relevant as this.”

09/12/2017

Gordon Burn Prize

Books

Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile is shortlisted for the 2017 Gordon Burn Prize. This news has made me happier than Rita and Sue watching House of Fun on a pink leather sofa.

Here’s a bit of info from New Writing North if you’re curious to find out more…

In the spirit of the Gordon Burn Prize, the shortlist is far-reaching, eclectic and provocative. It includes two debuts, four works of fiction and two of non-fiction, with a third of the list published by two small presses as the resurgence of the independent publisher in the UK continues.

“The Gordon Burn Prize shortlist continues to showcase some of the most interesting contemporary writing in its wide-ranging selection of titles. Six titles were selected by judges Petina Gappah, Allan Jenkins, Ian Sansom and Cosey Fanni Tutti to go forward:

  • Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile by Adelle Stripe (Wrecking Ball Press)
  • Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassabova (Granta Books)
  • First Love by Gwendoline Riley (Granta Books)
  • The Long Drop by Denise Mina (Harvill Secker)
  • This Is Memorial Device by David Keenan (Faber & Faber)
  • This Is the Place to Be by Lara Pawson (CB Editions)

Ian Sansom, one of the judges, commented:

‘Gordon Burn was unique and the Gordon Burn Prize is unique. It recognises what so many prizes fail to recognise: that literature, like all art, is in a constant process of reinvention and renewal and that the novel is a truly bastard form. The Gordon Burn Prize is a celebration of the art of possibility. This year’s shortlist includes hybrid works in many forms – autofiction, memoir, biography, travel writing and crime — and draws attention to brilliant and truly inventive work that might otherwise be overlooked. All ye that are weary and heavy burdened, gaze upon these works and wonder!’

The winner of the Gordon Burn Prize 2017 will be announced at Durham Book Festival on Thursday 12 October 2017. Tickets are on sale from the Durham Book Festival website from 10 August.

Discover the titles at gordonburnprize.com”

Cock of the North: Adelle Stripe with Smagghe & Cross

Music, Poetry

Described by Resident Advisor as a track that ‘snatches you out of the water’, Cock of the North appears on Smagghe & Cross’s new album MA (Offen Music). It’s a short prose piece about Tadcaster in the nineties. Certainly not a track for Blue Mondays but I think it’s turned out well considering the subject matter…

It was recorded at Air Edel in London last year with Ivan and Rupert. The original poem – Big Weekend – is taken from my 2012 poetry collection Dark Corners of the LandI’ve had a few emails about it since the record was released, sadly the book is out of print and in the hands of collectors. The poem features in the PUSH anthology, which is still available from East London Press (for those who really want to read it).

Cock of the North can be listened to on soundcloud or youtube. Or you can download it, or order a copy on vinyl here, complete with an existential football scarf. Linear notes are by Andrew Weatherall, who writes that the album contains “brief flashes of gold [that] disturb the murky slit of memory…”