Rebecca Sharp

Rebecca Sharp is a writer whose work spans poetry, theatre and performance, interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. In 2020 she received an RSL Literature Matters Award from the Royal Society of Literature to write a new pamphlet collection Rough Currency (Tapsalteerie), exploring the poetics of oil and the imagination. Other poetry includes Unmapped (2013, exhibition and publication of poems and paintings with artist Anna King), and The Beginners, a recent collaboration with sound artist Simon Whetham, exploring a series of earthworks in Fife (Souterrain Press 2020). Recent plays include The Air That Carries The Weight (Traverse theatre, Edinburgh with Stellar Quines theatre company), and The Wakeful Chamber (A Play, A Pie & A Pint/Sound Festival at the Lemon Tree, Aberdeen and Oran Mor, Glasgow).

Rebecca Sharp

Photo: Raz Ullah



An interactive poetry reading, created by Steve Smart and Rebecca Sharp

Sat 6 March - Wed 31 March | (All day) | FREE | StAnza Online


Konjunktur (Economics)

The violin strikes – close your eyes and you might
just think you’ll get away with it. But not really –
that’s to say as much as many, you’ve endured
this economy. Survived, for now. Held on.

House down; lights up. The naked field. You see
a screen – and a set that seems to build itself,
where poetry is objects moved around a stage
that by accumulation show what’s hidden.

Where characters rotate, change names, trade
places on a mill of sudden, near predictable
reversals. Instructions to resist seduction, or be left
with nothing left to reignite the spirit – recover 

ceremony from itself like oil beneath our feet.
And just before the end projection catches fire,
we come to see the fiction is: we’re watching this,
and finish with a chorus of the Internationale. 

A crash of strings – ambiguous protagonists and a
deafening call to alter our endings. The stage revolves;
darkness falls and finds us again – walking home
in a story that’s always part-spoken, part-sung.

Rebecca Sharp

From Rough Currency (Tapsalteerie, 2021)

Léo Lania’s 1928 play Konjunktur (‘Economy Boom’), was a comedy of oil economics set in Albania, directed by Erwin Piscator for his Berlin theatre, co-devised by the collective that included Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. The production was forced to bend to external pressures during its development, with re-writes imposed by the German Communist Party and Soviet trade ministers. Further changes would have necessitated cutting the lead role played by Tilla Durieux, soon-to-be wife of the theatre’s main benefactor. The play floundered and one month after it closed, Piscator was bankrupt.