EDINBURGH | GLASGOW | ABERDEEN | INVERNESS | DUNDEE | PERTH

Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson

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Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy teams up with musician John Sampson to present a harmonious poetry experience.

Image of Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson

@ Assembly Rooms, George Street, until Sun 30 Aug 2015 @ 14.45


With a diverse plethora of wind instruments, and a collection of mellifluous readings, musical virtuoso John Sampson, and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, take you on a beautiful journey of counties, bees, and the reincarnation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The amiable bearded Sampson provides the sound, and the vivacious Duffy the poetry, but what makes this performance so watchable, is how the two qualities compliment each other, then swap hands – the music becoming poetic, the readings forming a mild muttering, swaying the audience back and forth like a metronome while the crescendo builds.

The readings were a mixture of pathos and humour, murkiness and satire. Each individual piece standing on its own, deserving of applause – brilliantly supplemented by the tooting of a trumpet, the sinuous noise of the crumhorn, or the colourful melody of the Chinese wind instrument.

The stage interaction is also a delight, frequently using a particular line or phrase to mock one another, making the spectator feel comfortable, welcome and involved – charmingly inviting them into the honey, the Shakespeare, and the immorality of the invigilator.

A natural performer, Carol Ann Duffy perfectly juxtaposes tension with merriment, anxiety with joy, tearfulness with laughter – her writing is evocative, pure and relaxing, blended together by John Sampson’s harmonious, melodic, and sweet-sounding music, it’s no coincidence there wasn’t an empty seat in the house.

/ @writer_shand


Michael is an award-winning, Edinburgh based playwright, with a big appetite for live theatre. He's been writing scripts for almost a decade and aspires to write (and occasionally produce) risky, cutting edge theatre. Most of his work is written in the Scottish vernacular, and is predominantly fictitious. He has produced thirteen of his own scripts - all with local theatre company 'That's Lunch Productions'.

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