Luke Wright: Your New Favourite Poet
Rock’n’roll tour de force of performance poetry
This article is from 2012.
Despite the title of Luke Wright’s show this year, he doesn’t mind if he’s not quite your new favourite poet. Being second to Larkin is not, he concedes, to be sneezed at. I’m not quite sure he really occupies the same niche as the post-war poet laureate, or of Marlowe, another canonical namecheck from Wright’s show. But with metrical patterning this punchily effective, and comic rhyme this carefully plotted, Wright has got his own striking voice well and truly down.
Wright is a rock’n’roll balladeer in scarlet brogues, a performer who wouldn’t look out of place marching with the Chartists, scratching at London’s underworld with Oscar Wilde or doing guest vocals with The Smiths. If you haven’t yet come across the work of the spoken word pioneer, Luke Wright’s performances are rhyme and rhythm-driven comic monologues, or sometimes poignant soapbox elegies, or sometimes tours de force of poetic artifice (his ‘B Movie’ poem is a masterpiece of alliteration pushed so far to its limits that it falls over and gets eaten by a blob).
Though Wright has in his previous Edinburgh appearances -- this year is the 10th anniversary of his first trip up from his native Essex -- been a stalwart of the comedy section of the Fringe programme, his work now finds a natural home under the umbrella of Spoken Word. He already has enough of a following that this probably won’t change his demographic, but nonetheless his show is funnier than the bulk of what’s in the comedy section, and more thoughtful than most of the theatre. See if he can make good of the promise in the title. He might just manage it, you know.