Luke Wright in Lowestoft – photo © Martin Figura
The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft is a little triumph of municipal enterprise. When I was young it was a fleapit cinema, looking increasingly uninviting, but it has been restored and refurbished a few years back as an elegant little theatre. I popped over there this week in the face of a freezing and vicious North Easterly wind to catch up with Luke Wright half way through his current tour, playing to his local audience.
The venue was not full, but the audience would have filled venues like the Norwich Arts Centre where Luke often performs so was a good turnout for a chilly school night in March, and they responded enthusiastically to Luke’s mix of pathos, humour and gunfire-rapid eloquence.
In the first half Luke brings us a variety of material including ‘Clocks’, a warm tribute to his father who enjoys building old fashioned clocks from scratch. In the poem and the preamble to it Luke manages to sum up the complexity that many of us will recognise in father son relationships, where there is often an edge of challenge, competition even, but a growing realisation of similarity and shared values.
The second half saw two of his crowd pleasing favourites, The Essex Lion and Burt Up Pub. The skill of the writing turns two tales of everyday life into something rather special. His joy at playing with different forms and constructions of verse is evident in these works and many others.
Having seen the first show in this tour a few weeks back it is interesting to compare with his delivery half way through this long post lockdown tour. The show is a little smoother and slicker but lacks none of the energy and passion that makes him a unique performer. Catch the tour while you can, whether it is Luke on his own or on stage with the brilliant John Cooper Clarke.
© Julian Swainson, Norwich Eye, March 2022
Find out more about the tour here: https://www.lukewright.co.uk/upcoming-events/