We all want something to believe in. It’s 1987 and Frankie Vah gorges on love, radical politics, and dirty indie stardom. But can he keep it all down?

Following the multi-award-winning What I Learned From Johnny Bevan, Luke Wright’s second verse play deals with love, loss, and belief, against a backdrop of skuzzy indie venues and 80s politics. Expect frenetic guitars, visceral verse, and a Morrissey-sized measure of heartache.

Written and performed in deft verse by this Fringe First & Stage Award for Acting Excellence winner.

Buy a copy of the text from Penned in the Margins


Reviews  2018
please note – some reviews do not give ★ ratings

“Wright is a clever playwright and a charismatic performer … Frankie Vah is all the richer for its political and poetical layers … Wright succeeds in finding new and beautiful ways of expressing the everyday.” The Guardian 

“Brilliant script … sheer linguistic virtuosity and sweaty magnetism.” ★★★★ Time Out

“It’s absolutely mesmerizing: the lyrical, musical push and pull, the perfect detonation of sharp consonants and stretchy vowels.” Exeunt

“Engaging and sensitive.” ★★★★ British Theatre Guide

“It’s smart, it’s funny, it’s insightful, poignant, beautiful and tragic. I loved it.” EDP

Reviews 2017
please note – some reviews do not give ★ ratings

“With Frankie Vah, he’s managed to craft a gorgeously-worded powerhouse of a play, in one of the only verse dramas that could claim to get a crowd cheering and stamping their feet throughout. Again.” ★★★★★ Broadway Baby

“This is a mature, lyrical and politically relevant piece of poetic writing … beautifully performed…  I watched and listened in awe and pleasure, just drinking, drinking, drinking in the beauty of this show.” ★★★★★ Exeunt

“This isn’t just socialist agit-prop, though; it reaches far further than that. In his visceral, virile verse, Wright skewers the essential cadences of all political drama” ★★★★ The Stage

“Luke Wright is a force in spoken word. His unique vocal delivery and his ability to spit out verse with vitality and passion is mesmerising” ★★★★ The Wee Review

“Luke explores the themes that are central to our lives, the light and shade of lives lived to the full. He connects with all of us in a performance that feels so personal that it must be his own story, but this is theatre, this is telling a tale, this is poetry in motion, a ballad for right now.” ★★★★★ Norwich Eye

“Wright brings energy, passion and self-deprecating humour to the stage, shining a perceptive spotlight on the left wing struggles against Tory dominance” RECOMMENDED SHOW, Fringe Review

“Wright memorizes and mesmerizes in equal measure. Unlike Ed Miliband no important sections of the play are forgotten. He leaves you spell bound, a storyteller and performer at the top of his game.” Neal Lawson, Open Democracy

“The show follows the rise of a performance poet in the 1980s and, as we grew up in that decade, felt he effectively reflects the feeling of that time – quite an achievement as the writer/performer is too young to have experienced this himself.” 9.75/10, Dark Chat

“Really well executed, funny, hopeful and high energy through out.” 9/10 Outline

“Oozes grit and force, truth and feeling. Wright is heartfelt and animated, and the show is engaging and stirring” ★★★★ To Do List

Fringe Highlight in Vogue, The Telegraph, The Stage, Exeunt, WhatsonStage, The Guardian, Edinburgh Festivals Magazine, Fringe Reporter



Written and performed by Luke Wright
Produced by Paul Jellis & Underbelly Productions
Directed by Joe Murphy and Alex Thorpe
Scored by Ian Catskilkin (Art Brut)
Lighting by Joe Price & Tom Clutterbuck
Technical Design by Tom Clutterbuck

Co-commissioned by Paul Jellis, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, and The Soho Theatre

Tour Dates
21/01 Jersey Arts Centre, St Helier, Jersey
25/01 Stahl Theatre, Oundle
27/01 Tolmen Centre Constantine, Cornwall
01/02 North Wall, Oxford
02/02 Fisher Theatre, Bungay
01/03 Find The Right Words / Upstairs at the Weston, Leicester
08/03 Edge Arts Centre, Manchester
09/03 Edge Arts Centre, Manchester
10/03 Chesterfield Labour Club, Chesterfield
16/03 Corn Hall, Diss
21/03 Ventnor Exchange, Ventnor, Isle of Wight
22/03 Ventnor Exchange, Ventnor, Isle of Wight
28/03 Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich

17/04 – 05/05 Soho Theatre, London (tickets)

12 May AYAP Youth & Arts Centre, Framlingham
13 May Carriageworks, Leeds
17 May Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
23 May The Old Fire Station, Carlisle
24 May The Witham, Castle Barnard
5 June The New Wolsey, Ipswich
28 July Port Eliot Festival
18 August Edinburgh International Book Festival

13 September Marlow Studio, Canterbury
20 September Pontardawe Arts Centre, Swansea
21 September Theatre Shop, Clevedon
22 September Barbican Theatre, Plymouth
28 September Vestry Hall, Cranbrook
3 October Colchester Arts Centre
5 October Bridport Arts Centre
7 October Cheltenham Literature Festival
10 October Wickham Theatre, Bristol
11 October The Old Market, Brighton
17 October Key Theatre, Peterborough
30 October The Peacock, Sunderland
3 November Labour Club, Merthyr Tydfil
8 November Lighthouse, Poole
25 November Derby Poetry Festival
29 November Storyhouse, Chester
30 November Perch, Bicester
5 December Metronome, Nottingham
6 December Stamford Arts Centre

Ticket info on gigs page.

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