Rose Condo The Empathy Experiment 2.0 at Wigan Old Courts

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Rose Condo. Photo by Charles Leek.

Rose Condo The Empathy Experiment 2.0 at The Old Courts, Wigan, 20 January 2022 Tickets from £7 — Book now

We don’t think award-winning Canadian poet and performer Rose Condo sits still. Only just now she was promoting her debut poetry collection, she has an appearance at Chorlton’s Tickle Your Fancy cabaret night lined up and here she is on stage with a revised version of her live show The Empathy Experiment.

This one-hour performance has been called a “relevant and enthralling piece of work” and it’s your chance to see what Rose Condo has made of the implications of lockdown on human empathy.

Written and performed by Rose (and dramaturged by Dominic Berry, aka Dommy B), version one of The Empathy Experiment was created in 2019, when it received critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe and was crowned Best Spoken Word Show at the Greater Manchester Fringe. It was also shortlisted for Best Spoken Word Show at the 2020 Saboteur Awards. At the crux of it, Rose ponders whether empathy is facing extinction because of our inability to be parted from our smartphones and other mobile devices. Weaving together observations from her own Day Of No Mobile Phones, “ask the audience”-style live participation and expertly crafted poems, the show explores tech addiction and compassion – except, the world is slightly different now, and Rose’s relationship with her phone has completely changed…

This one-hour performance has been called a “relevant and enthralling piece of work” and it’s your chance to see what Rose Condo has made of the implications of lockdown on human empathy. Still a careful blend of poetry and prose, The Empathy Experiment 2.0 explores new questions about our relationship with – and to – technology in this post-pandemic era.

The original unabridged script of The Empathy Experiment forms part of Rose’s debut collection, After The Storm, which came out with Salford-based Flapjack Press in November. The books contains all three of Rose’s acclaimed and award-winning poetry theatre shows, opening with The Geography of Me, which takes the audience on a trip through foreign and familiar lands, recounting hilarity and heartbreak, followed by How To Starve An Artist, a series of poems and stories about creative nourishment and how to feed your inner artist. Her publisher stablemate Rosie Garland (whose As In Judy follow-up, What Girls Do In The Dark, came out in 2021 with Nine Arches Press) says Rose Condo’s work is “a steadying reminder of compassion in a world tipped off its axis.

Now based in Salford, Rose Condo studied Theatre & Drama at the University of Winnipeg in Canada before heading to the University of Leeds to do a Masters in Theatre & Development Studies. She has won numerous poetry slams, was longlisted for the inaugural Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship and has performed with the likes of Hollie McNish.

For this show, she has support from Wigan-based poet Louise Fazackerley (Louise the Poet), rated by John Cooper Clarke and called “a great performer” by Will Self. She is signed to spoken word label Nymphs & Thugs, alongside Salena Godden and Toria Garbutt. Her first collection, The Lolitas, came out with Verve Poetry Press in December 2019, and is described as “genre-distorting, disconcerting … darkly humorous”, and was followed by her Verve pamphlet The Uniform Factory (2020).

Rose Condo - After the Storm book cover
Rose Condo – After the Storm book cover

Rose Condo The Empathy Experiment 2.0 at The Old Courts, Wigan, 20 January 2022 Tickets from £7 Book now

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