Jack Dean performing in his show Grandad and the Machine, alongside puppet Imogen

Jack Dean – Grandad and the Machine

Grandad and the Machine is a poem written and performed by Jack Dean, looking at the rise and fall of the British Empire. This performed poem was re-imagined through the lens of a modern fairy-tale.

Set in an alternative present where the British Empire never died, a 100-year-old mechanical monster emerges from the waves, bent on revenge against its makers. As cities are torn up in its wake, the island musters all its might against it, unaware that the key to stopping its destruction lies with a small girl and her father headed northwards to Grandad’s house. Their journey becomes an epic quest across England that leads to the heart of a dark family secret.

Jack Dean is a Yorkshire-based writer and performer who has carried his love of weird and wonderful arrangements of words to many places, from the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, Latitude Festival and the Radio 4 National Poetry Slam to a male beauty contest in Hackney (long story). Jack likes to take the hip-hop medium he grew up with, go out with it, get it drunk and push it down the high street in a shopping trolley full of fireworks at 4am. He hopes you’ll join him on this quixotic adventure.

Supported by Unlimited, with funding from Arts Council England, and additional support from Apple and Snakes and West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Watch the video trailer from the performance. 


14 - 18 February 2017
20 April 2016
19 April 2016
12 March 2016
14-15 October 2015
16 September 2015

Production details

Polly Agg-Manning
Sophie Mosberger
Lighting designer
Sam-Hollis Pack
Alex Chisholm
Stage manager
Josh Lucas
Apple and Snakes and West Yorkshire Playhouse

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