Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson, together once more, present an hour of pensive poetry and glorious musical diversion in an intimate, informal setting. Fresh from her ten-year tenure as a popular and accessible Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy brings a selection of much-loved favourites interspersed with stimulating and provocative new work and musical interludes from the irrepressible and effervescent multi-instrumentalist John Sampson. Back for the Fringe yet again, John spoke with The Fountain about performing with Carol Ann Duffy and offered tips to first-time performers.

TF: You are performing yet again at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how many years has it been now?  

This will be my forty-fourth consecutive year on the Fringe and really looking forward to it!

TF: Once again another show with Carol-Ann Duffy, it must be a real pleasure to work with such a successful poet?

 It is truly inspirational to work with Carol Ann and this marks our 16th year together, ten of them as Poet Laureate. She is such a powerful contemporary feminist voice and I get musical ideas directly from her work.

TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie? 

I used to just do the kid`s shows written by Carol Ann but one day she said why not get involved with the adult poetry so back in 2006 we created our first one. I play a lot of wind instruments, some old, some modern so I do some solo sections and some underscore which allows Carol Ann to change subject easily. I am influenced by medieval music, jazz and Classical but enjoy all good music!

TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers? And what are your future plans beyond the show?

We are going to do more poetry that Carol Ann has just created as well as some old favourites. To first time Fringe performers, remember to be polite to all the staff working in a venue, as everyone plays a part in the shows success and always plan your programme so you never run over your time slot causing problems for the next performers and most importantly, enjoy every second of it! I certainly do!

You can see Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson at The Stand’s New Town Theatre from 10th – 16th August at 11:45. For tickets, please visit