Performance poet Luke's award-winning play at Harrogate Theatre
The veteran John Cooper Clarke may have blazed a trail but the razor sharp younger whipper-snapper Luke Wright is fanning the flames for performance poetry.
His latest piece, the Fringe First award-winning tour de force What I Learned From Johnny Bevan, arrives at Harrogate Theatre this Saturday after a three-week sellout run in London.Presented by Release the Hounds Festival in association with Harrogate Theatre, the dynamic Luke, 34, describes the pulsating one-man show punctuated by punky music courtesy of Art Brut’s Ian Catskilkin, as a “verse play”.Luke said: “It’s a mix of the personal and the political.But you don’t need to know anything about politics to enjoy the show. It’s foremost about friendship and how it changes. It’s got universal themes.”In a witty and passionate 8,000 words, Luke tells the story of what happens to comfortable middle class student Nick when he meets a cooler, more leftwing council estate kid Jonny Bevan at university.Luke said: “The show is semi-autobiographical. Johnny is based on a friend of mine at university. I was a wet behind the ears kid from Essex at that point, more like Nick."The show is really the story of my 20s growing up under Blair.”Despite being a bit of a regular on Channel 4 and BBC Radio 4, Luke says there is still a generation gap in the world of poetry. As well as touring and appearing on Loose Ends and Saturday Live, Luke has been working on his new book of poetry, The Toll which will be published in February.Three years in the making, his new collection touches on personal heartbreak but remains, ultimately, positive.Luke said: “A lot of the new poems chart the end of a relationship but there is satire and politics."I don’t believe all politicians are the same. I don’t believe Blair was the same as Cameron.”