Friday, 24 April 2020

PERFORMANCE POETRY REVIEW: This Frankie Vah! by Luke Wright


It's a very strange time for everyone right now, isn't it? No-one really knows how long we are to stay cooked up in our houses, when or if a cure for the virsu will ever be found, and basically we are all somewhat depressed. Fear not.... for when the world falls apart around you, it is the turn of actors, singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, and yes, even poets, to step up to the mark and find ways of momentarily relieving us of our worries and strife. The last time anything like this happened on this scale in this country was 1939 - 1945, when we would still be able to go to the theatres, cinemas, and cabaret clubs, despite the threat of bombs falling all around us, or having no homes to go back to. Of course, there was no internet then, but even so, the spirit of the artistes was the same as now; a need to still create and to entertain, in spite of everything.

Enter performance poet Luke Wright, who, until only yesterday, I had not heard of at all. To date he has given over 30 solo performances on livestream from his Twitter account, and has said he will continue to do them during this period of lockdown for as long as there are people tuning in. There is no payment, but of cousre, like many of these online showings, donations are always more than welcome.

I have been informed that his normal shows are somewhat difficerent from the full-length verse play this evening. Normally he reads many different poems and chats about them, and takes requests; but this evening it was a one hour long piece of acting: self-penned and mostly in verse.

It told the story of a young would-be poet and his early start in his career - one wonders whether or not it might have been at least in part, autobiographical. However, there was pathos and humour in the writing and Wright's style was amiable, easy to listen to, and down-to-earth.

Without wanting to sound too turgid, then one couldn't help likening him with William Shakespeare (especially since his performance was going out live on Shakespeare's birth and death date!). Shakespeare's style was most definitely for the common man, and wrote his plays in a way that mirrored natural speech patterns, even when writing poetry. He also interchanged between poetry and prose to suit the mood and narrative drive of each character. When a chaarcter required a more lofty or lyrical style he would use poetry, etc. Wright understood this and embraced this in his own style too.

To people like Luke Wright, up and down this Sceptred Isle, who are bringing entertainment and culture to the masses, we salute you! For further shows by Wright, then his Twitter handle is @lukewrightpoet.

Reviewer - Alastair Zyggu
on - 23/4/20

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