I wrote an article for Threeweeks about reviews and artists’ responses to them. You can read it here.
In the article I conclude that in order to get over the bad reviews we have to first get over the good ones; that despair from a bad review is not artistic self-loathing or doubt but just another indication of the massive ego.
However, as the festival progresses I am starting to see another side of it. I am really pleased with this show. Really pleased. I know it’s the best thing I’ve done. So when a publication like Threeweeks only gives it three stars (which happened 3 days ago), the lowest rating I’ve had from them ever (lower than 2002 when I was shit) how can I possibly take it seriously? I’m not a deluded egotist unable to see the cracks in my work. I know what I’ve done and I know what works. I am constantly self-analyzing my work. My response to that mediocre review is one of derision. I know that sounds arrogant but it’s in relation to what the same publication have said about my work for the last seven years. How anyone can say that Poet Laureate in 2006 (which got 5 stars from Threeweeks) is better than this current show is beyond me. It just ain’t.
So why am I bothered? Well, I’m not really. Not really. But with the show not selling out midweek we could have used another good star rating. It’s a bit like someone scratching your car. It’s not the end of the world; it’s just a little nick; the car still works fine, but it’s irritating and shouldn’t have happened.
Still it’s still mostly positive. Below is a review from Scotsgay. The reviewer Martin Walker has been a longtime supporter of my work. He’s one of the most experienced and knowledgeable reviewers on the Fringe and I admire and respect his work. Though I disagree with him as well when he says I “haven’t improved with age.” Do I need to start posting poems I wrote when I was twenty to prove this? I hope not. Anyway, here’s the review, it was 4 stars:
The overused term ‘fringe favourite’ aptly applies to stand-up comedian and poet, Luke Wright. It’s not that he’s improved with age – his ability was clear when I first saw him around eight years ago – it’s that every year he has consistently produced strong and memorable shows.
In 2009 his theme is ‘petty concerns’, a self deprecating look at being a ‘nearly famous’ poet who, even though he knows it’s wrong, can’t help but ‘Google’ his own name when alone.
There is plenty of comedy to be had from the outcome of these searches, in a set that would be strong if stand-up comedy were the sole attraction. The fact that the gags are interspersed with sharp, intelligent, often satirical self penned poems serves to enhance the show further.
For those that think poetry is boring, I challenge you to see Luke Wright and not be thoroughly entertained.