Following almost two years of Covid induced postponements, Jennifer Irons’ riotous one-woman show Yukon Ho!, detailing her upbringing, life and ultimate escape from Canada’s frozen north is finally set to tour the UK. It comes to Hemel Hempstead’s Old Town Hall on 25 February.
Yukon Territory, Northern Canada is where North America’s coldest temperature ever (-63 degrees Celsius) was recorded. It’s where there are more caribou than people, tossing chainsaws is entertainment, barbecued squirrel is food and watching bears forage for food at the garbage dump on a Saturday evening is a big night out.
But it’s not all sophisticated fun. It’s a genuinely challenging place to live, where escape is difficult and where many people die tragically young as a result of accidents and the harsh Arctic winters. It’s where Jennifer Irons was born and raised, dreaming of leaving.
Fascinating, laugh-out-loud funny and surprisingly tender – Kelly Apter The List
Growing up in a tough, isolated mining town with little prospect of reaching ‘The Outside’, Jennifer found release through performance. Specifically, it came in the unlikely circumstances of dancing the Can-Can to an audience of drunken miners in a casino in Dawson City. Her passion for dance subsequently led to an extraordinary journey out of the Yukon, and around the world.
In Yukon Ho!, award-winning choreographer Jennifer Irons is ‘Intrepid Jen’, telling her story of survival and escape from the territory, and an eventual reconciliation through reconnection with her homeland.
Jennifer said, ‘If it wasn’t for dance, I’d have probably ended up pregnant, an addict or dead. However tough it is growing up – whether it’s in the arctic or the city – the arts will always be a salvation. It’s a shame more governments don’t realise this. I mean, who would have ever thought doing high kicks for drunken miners would have got me to Britain? …Though drunken miners are still very welcome to buy tickets!’
‘Beautifully complex… human and raw…’ – Total Theatre
Yukon Ho! is dark, fearless, original, bizarre, at times tragic and very funny. Expect to laugh, holler, quaff questionable cocktails and learn how to be Bear Aware. And it’s all (mostly) true…
Yukon Ho received Special Commendation from Olivia Colman’s SCREENSHOT, co-judged by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Lolly Adefope and Rosie Jones. See a short trailer here.
Internationally renowned choreographer Jennifer Irons now lives on the south coast of England. She is an award-winning choreographer, creating large-scale mass movement for outdoor festivals, working across commercial music videos, film and TV, and making dynamic new work for theatre. Amongst many other credits she choreographed a number 1 hit single for Olly Murs and Rizzle Kicks and was Assistant Artistic Director for the Rugby League World Cup. She acted as Mass Movement Director for Akram Khan Company’s Kadamati at the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival and Associate Choreographer for Complicité’s Everything That Rises Must Dance.
Jen was also once charged with teaching Boris Johnson to dance…