ROLL Over Atlantic, poet John Agard’s satirical revisiting of the voyages of Christopher Columbus, sails into the York Theatre Royal Studio on Wednesday.

"Whether glorified or vilified, Columbus, by his accidental 'discovery' of the so-called New World, gave a kickstart to globalisation, bridging Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, and joining forever the fates of these separate hemispheres and eco-systems," says Agard.

Telescoping the voyages, John Agard transfers his irreverent, puckish wit from page to stage as he variously takes on the voices of Columbus, the Atlantic, a native shaman, a mutinous crew and an even more mutinous crew of mosquitoes.

Written in verse and performed against a background soundscape of Atlantic murmurings and symphonic mosquito buzzing, Agard takes his audience on a fantastical, fanatical historic voyage that bears relevance to contemporary issues.

Directed by Mark C Hewitt, complemented by musical backing by Thomas Arnold, this one-man show mixes the tides of cabaret and calypso with satirical mischief-making in Tilt and Crosspath Theatre's 7.45pm performance.

John Agard was born in Guyana and came to Britain in 1977, since when his prowess as a performer and poet has brought him The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2012 and a guest appearance on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in 2014. He became the first poet-in-residence at London's South Bank in 1989, later holding the same post at the BBC and the National Maritime Museum, and he is a familiar name to school teachers and pupils as a poet on the GCSE syllabus, also performing his work across Britain as part of GCSE Poetry Live.

Among his collections of poetry for children and adults are Travel Light, Travel Dark, Alternative Anthem and The Young Inferno, a spin on Dante's classic for young readers, while his works for performance include Puff, for Crosspath Theatre, and Dead Head, written with composer Orlando Gough.

York Press:

Lizzie Nunnery's Horny Handed Tons Of Soil

On Thursday, the Studio plays host to Phrased & Confused and Unity Theatre's Horny Handed Tons Of Soil, written by Liverpool playwright and singer-songwriter Lizzie Nunnery, with music by Martin Heslop, Vidar Norheim, Martin Smith and Nunnery.

Inspired by the maverick work of Mersey Sound poet and painter Adrian Henri, this 7.45pm show fuses beat poetry with folk song, electronic composition with live brass and percussion and documentary film with theatrical story telling.

In that story, the city is alive as the Child, the Poet and Death wander the streets, tracing memories and mapping dreams on to a landscape shifting under the spell of time.

Writer Nunnery, by the way, won the 2017 UK Theatre Award for Best New Play for Narvik, a nautical wartime memory play presented by Box Of Tricks at the Theatre Royal Studio in February last year.

Tickets for Roll Over Atlantic and Horny Handed Tons Of Soil can be booked on 01904 623568 or at