Cynical Ballads impresses critics

Posted by lukewrightpoet Category: Diary Entries

I’m currently in the middle of a run of final UK dates for Cynical Ballads. The show did a London run last week at The Soho Theatre and I’ve got three more dates before it gets put to bed and Your New Favourite Poet is unleashed on the world. I picked up some nice reviews for Cynical Ballads last week.

“Likeability is one of Wright’s strongest cards, and boy does he play it well. If you huff, puff and bemoan the very existence of live poetry- for Guardian readers and emotion perverts, do I hear you cry?- Luke Wright will challenge every un-believing bone in your body. With a voice that is – albeit resonant and pleasant- not unlike a voice you’d expect to hear excelling on the market-stall round of The Apprentice, he adopts an approach to entertainment that is at once educational, riotously fun, and heart-wrenchingly emotional. He’s like the English teacher you always wish you’d had- or at least the kind that could ‘own’ young whippersnappers in any rap battle. Wright skillfully leads his audience through the historical arc of the ballad- beginning with iambic pentameter, and ending with Christina Aguilera. The message is clear from the start: the ballad was intended for the man on the street, and that is where it should remain. Hence, we are entertained with narrative goodies about ‘Topman checks and Richard Hammond dreams’, Xfactor contestant Melody, ‘who had none’, middle class families suffering not merely ‘affluenza’, but ‘affluAIDs’, and fat boys with fat appetites for violence and burgers.”  The Huffington Post (full review here)

“His poems are reminiscent of Betjemen in the way they deal of everyday life in Briton and show his pride in being British.” * * * * * Remotegoat (full review here)

“Over the years that Wright has been performing, he has developed his style and the range of the performance techniques that he uses significantly. He is definitely one of the most entertaining performance poets currently on the circuit. Next time, if he leaves out the singing, his show will be nigh on perfect.” Londonist (read full review here)


Reviews are funny things, eh? The singing referred to in the Londonist review lasts for 20 seconds, it’s purpose is not to impress but to get everyone singing along. Also, Remotegoat says I have curly hair! Still, I’d rather they were saying nice things than nasty things.

I also had a ‘celebrity’ along to the show. Comedian Mickey Flanagan came along on Thursday night after his own show at The Soho, he said he liked it, so that was nice.

I’ll be doing CB in Australia in October and then it’s goodbye for ever. However, most of the poems will survive in general live sets. It’s done me well, I shall miss it.

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