This article is from 2007.
With his first book due out and the premier league of poets joining him at the Fringe, Luke Wright tells Brian Donaldson that the key to more success is having a rapport
There are times when many people think their past might be returning to bite them on the bum. All you can do is reflect back and think ‘why on earth did I say/do that?’ Recently, performance poet Luke Wright has been having one of those moments. In Poet Laureate, his Fringe solo debut show from last year, he railed against many things, such as Richard Madeley, Andrew Motion (the actual Poet Laureate) and the London Olympics. News that the arts budget was to be slashed to help the fattening spending bill for the 2012 Games had the knock-on effect of Aisle 16 (the ‘poetry boyband’ which Wright is one quarter part of) having to abandon their plans to play Edinburgh due to lack of funds. Wright has but one conclusion to make: ‘I think my slagging off of the Olympics has come back to haunt me.’
Still, it’s not as though Wright is short of creative things to do. In the autumn his debut book entitled Who Writes This Crap? with fellow Aisle 16er Joel Stickley is published by Hamish Hamilton and he’s been organising his Poetry Party which will feature appearances from the big-hitting likes of Murray Lachlan Young, John Hegley and Lemn Sissay. He also squeezed in the time to tie the knot and buy a flat too.
But it’s his solo show that will take up most of his August thinking. He describes Poet & Man as a stripped-down affair. ‘I wanted to get back to storytelling and get more of a rapport going. I looked at what I did with Poet Laureate and it was really like spinning around in the dark. It’s not just about hitting people with a good gag, there should be more of a conversation.’
Certainly, much chat must have been had about the themes behind his publicity shot for this year. ‘It’s about this frenzy of writing where I’m splashing myself with blue ink.’ A noble idea. ‘Then someone told me it looked like a Blue Meanie had just come on my face.’
Luke Wright: Poet & Man, Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, 4–25 Aug, 5.10pm, £9–£10 (£7–£8). Previews until 3 Aug, £5; Luke Wright’s Poetry Party, Dr Roberts’ Magic Bus, Middle Meadows Walk, 07790 235963, 11 & 12 Aug, noon–midnight, free.