Luke Wright: Poet Laureate

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett


For the past couple of years Luke Wright has appeared at the
festival with his spoof poetry boy band Aisle 16 with cohorts
Joel Stickley, Ross Sutherland and Chris Hicks. This year, Wright
is going it alone citing he was 'a man out of time' (with the
rest of the band's dance moves apparently) and has broken off
from the rest to launch his bid for poet laureate in 2009 when
Andrew Motion gives it up the badly paid job.

If we are unconvinced of Wright's credentials, he runs us
through laureates of old assessing their effectiveness. In doing
so he dusts off the most useless of them all Laurence Eusden
(prompting Wright's new catchphrase, 'I'm doing better than Eusden')
and criticises the current poet laureate Motion for rhyming 'crown'
with 'gone' in a cheesy rap written for Prince William's 21st
birthday. Not particularly hard acts to follow, then.

Of course the meat of the show is a showcase of Wright's poetry,
expertly crafted and superbly performed. And if that wasn't enough
it's accompanied by some very funny and sometimes disturbing
visuals. It's a campaign in rhyming couplets, working in poems
about a faux infatuation with Richard Madeley, an ode to cigarettes
and the successful British Olympic bid. Though baby-faced, Wright
is unafraid to touch on 'dodgy' subjects; the buggery of daytime
TV presenters and mild references to paedophilia give him teeth.

Maybe Wright will prove a little too racy for Poet Laureate
but as he points out both Keats and Simon Le Bon were overlooked
for the role so if the position goes instead to some fusty old
boot, he'll at least be in good company.

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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