This summer onwards, award-winning poet Luke Wright will tour his new show, The Ballad Seller, across the country. The tour will get off to a flying start at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club in London’s east end.
The show is based on the bawdy street ballads popular in Georgian times. Back then, news came from poetry rather than from newspapers, television or the internet. Sellers would hawk ballads on street corners for a penny, broadcasting the news and gossip of the day. Scandalous affairs, grisly crimes, and colourful characters were brought to life in rhyming verse, long before the first tabloid was printed.
Who is Luke Wright?
Luke Wright is one of Britain’s top stand-up poets. He’s described as flamboyant, political and riotously funny. Plus, he has some wonderfully inventive shows. He’s also an author of three full collections and three pamphlets of poetry, as well as three verse plays. He’s not only a Fringe First winner, but also the recipient of a Stage Award for Acting Excellence, and three Saboteur Awards. So, he must be doing something right!
He’s a regular tour support for John Cooper Clarke and was recently dubbed ‘the bard of lockdown’ by The Daily Telegraph after his marathon stint of 100 consecutive nights of online shows.
The Ballad Seller show
He’ll be touring his 11th full-length poetry show, which is based on these bawdy street ballads. It starts on Wednesday 14th July at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. The show will also celebrate his limited edition book of the same name, which features illustrations by The Guardian’s chief political cartoonist Martin Rowson.
Expect scandal, excess, and beautifully flawed humanity in this new show. Wright has rewritten the very best of the Georgian-style ballads for the modern ear. So, you can take a trip through Drury Lane’s gin shops with the Boxing Baroness or filch oysters by the dozen with celebrated gormandizer (glutton) Dando. Or even escape the Bull Ring with Jemmy the Rockman.
His tour will journey up and down the country, calling at Whitchurch in Shropshire, Harrogate in Yorkshire, Ventnor in the Isle of Wight and Norfolk’s Holt Festival during July. Then, it’s onto The Big Little Festival and Tunbridge Wells in Kent, and Penzance in Cornwall during August.
In October, the tour heads to Carmarthenshire’s Laugharne Weekend, as well as Brighton and Hastings in Sussex, and Manchester in the north west. Finally, in November, he’ll head to Northamptonshire. Luke Wright will also be touring some of his other work during the year.
Like your literature, high or low? Check out similar events here!
When: 14th July – 11th November 2021
Where: At venues across the UK
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event
More info: www.lukewright.co.uk