Luke Wright, Poet Laureate modified SKINNYFest 1

Article by Yasmin Sulaiman | 14 Aug 2006
Before Justin, there was Robbie. And before the burgeoning performance poetry scene on this year's Fringe, there was Luke Wright. Previously of Aisle 16: Poetry Boyband, Luke has reinvented himself as a potential successor to Poet Laureate Andrew Motion with his witty rhyming and reasoning. Clearly a record deal with EMI is not far off.

Luckily for Luke, the unusual premise of his show guarantees that unique edge that all Fringe shows search for so desperately. We are no longer able to overlook his boyish good looks for his obvious talent. As a poet, he excels and the range of his material only reinforces this fact: an Ode to Richard Madeley sits nicely against a particularly searing poem commissioned especially for the London Olympic bid. In 'I Won't Get Out of Bed for Less Than Ten Grand', Luke asks, "Have you ever seen a six-year-old choking on an arts review from Saturday's Guardian?", joyfully poking fun at the very demographic he's likely to attract. A satirical portrait of a Tory MP completes his round of targets and is delivered with an especially venomous appeal.

But Luke's filler material in between poems can be a little flat, making for quite a sharp change in tone when he reverts to performance mode. Still, he manages to sustain 50 minutes of humour around the exploits of the obscure 18th-century Poet Laureate, Laurence Eusden, which is a complete art form in itself.