Performance from two authors, Marianne Dissard (‘NOT ME’) Ralph Dartford (‘Recovery songs’)

September 24, 2020 @ 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
POSTER - DArtford Tom Thumb_Marianne Dissard_poster
Ralph Dartford and Marianne Dissard met at the Louder Than Words Festival in Manchester in the spring. They now bring their acts to Margate’s littlest lit’ theatre.RALPH DARTFORD – Recovery Songs
MARIANNE DISSARD – Not Me by Marianne Dissard. A memoir.
http://www.mariannedissard.comRECOVERY SONGS by Ralph Dartford is a cycle of narrative poems that focuses on the fall and rise of the human condition. These are stories of love, abandonment, abuse, addiction, loss, and by the end, a redemption earned. Unflinching and funny at times, this collection takes its reader through a life lived in the margins, and asks: how do we recover when everything appears lost?
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Ralph Dartford hails from Basildon in Essex, and now lives in West Yorkshire, having got there via Australia, Barcelona and Los Angeles. He was the founding member of influential spoken word collective ‘A Firm of Poets’, and his first collection of poetry, Cigarettes, Beer and Love was published by Ossett Observer Presents in 2013. A new collection, Recovery Songs – also touring as a spoken word show – is now available from Valley Press.

“Searingly honest, Dartford takes you with him into some of the darkest corners of humanity and inhumanity … he leaves everything on the page.” Nick Ahad

“Dartford’s power comes from his unflinching, forensic attention to the big things that can destroy a life, and to the small details that can save one. There is wit here, but also a serious meditation on the courage it takes to survive childhood and become an (almost) fully-functioning adult.” Stephen May

“A beautiful and heart-breaking collection. Dartford pulls no punches on his painful personal journey of a life forsaken, reconstructed and renewed. It reveals as much about the fractures in our society as it does his own life. Read it and read it again (when you’re feeling strong enough).” Christopher Ian Smith

“Brilliant. Brutal, honest, beautiful and warm. This is poetry that takes hold of your heart and refuses to let go.” Pete Mckee

“Leads you through the vagaries and despair of addiction – but gently and delicately; allowing us to stop at every ladderstep of the descent to take full stock of the depths below. This is as full of love as it is full of warning.” Sadie Davidson

“A brilliant, brave, humorous and bold collection that asks not what if, but what now?” Toria Garbutt


NOT ME by Marianne Dissard is not your typical recovery memoir. By far.

A stunning and searing tale from eccentric musician and artistic powerhouse Marianne Dissard, this debut book is a beautiful and deeply affecting piece of literature.

The book tackles eating disorders and the mental health of a touring musician but, “disguised as a contemporary take on one woman’s attempt to regain life balance through yoga and self-awareness, the text is actually an existential howl on the order of Duras, Daumal, Bataille.” (Kurt Voss).

The confetti-loaded stage adaptation of Not Me premiered at Tom Thumb Theatre in 2018 and was performed in the fall 2019 throughout East Kent during an eleven-day walking tour. The performance will tour theatres across the UK from April to October 2020, including a stint at Brighton Fringe.

£13 including shipping for your paperback copy :

“Good grief, this is amazing! I am offered a lot of stories of ‘survival’ and ‘recovery’, which tend to be messianic and, frankly, tedious, so I was at best open-minded, perhaps a little dubious, but your book is a knock-out. So frank and fluent and funny. Who else evokes a meditation retreat as pure purgatory? I was mentally climbing the walls.” Rose Shepherd / Saga Magazine, Simon And Schuster author.

“Often improbably funny, too, Not Me is without doubt one of the best books I’ve read this year.” Andrew Smith / author, Moondust and Totally Wired

“Wow. What a book. I had no idea who Marianne was before Not Me but I’m sure I will never forget her. Not just because of the hardship she went through but the beautifully poetic prose.” Joy Corkery / Joyful Antidotes UK

“Marianne Dissard is that rare sort of talent: a literary chanteuse who renders the whole world with keen observations, wit, and pathos.” Mitch Cullin / author, A Slight Trick of the Mind and Tideland

“Not just painfully honest, but viscerally, brutally honest – a struggle for survival, and ultimately self-acceptance.” John Parish / producer, Let England Shake and How Animals Move

“Survival has always been billed as heroic, but you show us that survival – the difficult and secret task – is in how one faces the mundane: eating alone, living alone, talking to one’s self. That’s the power here.” Chris Rush / author, The Light Years