Performance poet Luke Wright set for Glasgow Comedy Festival
Young poet to deliver some Cynical Ballads at Tron
The world of live poetry is a barely recognisable beast to the one which Luke Wright entered in the late 90s. Back then, the likes of John Hegley, Hovis Presley and Murray Lachlan Young were making stage names for themselves, but in a field which had plenty of wiggle room. Now you can hardly move for performers hopping on stage with a pithy or passionate verse or ten to offload. While Wright and his lyrical cohort Ross Sutherland would eventually form Aisle 16, the world’s foremost ‘poetry boyband’, it took them about four years of verse-slinging before finding anyone of their own age up for that craic.
Now Wright has several Edinburgh Fringe shows under his belt, has appeared on a Newsnight Review poetry special and is pleasantly amazed by the number of young bucks getting involved. ‘The perceptions of poetry are still the same in lots of places, like rural schools where the kids aren’t really turned on to it, but social networking has been really good for poetry. It can now have a place to exist other than just at a gig or in a book. With YouTube and blogs, poets can exist every day rather than just having a book out every few years and it means that more people can have a go.’
He’s appearing at his first Glasgow Comedy Festival with Cynical Ballads, featuring a girl going on an X Factor-esque talent show, a pair of lucky rich twits, a Tory politician masking his right-wingness and the centrepiece, a love story about a couple running a chip shop. A ‘snapshot of Britain’, it’s a show which, he notes ironically, is possibly his least comical to date. ‘I think an audience going to the Glasgow Comedy Festival is an intelligent and cultured one and interested in seeing something more cutting edge than traditional theatre, and comedy is at the forefront of pushing those kinds of boundaries. I’m not a comic, I’ve never pretended to be. I’m a poet. Hopefully people don’t come along with a gagometer.’
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Friday 8 April.