Poet Luke Wright impresses with his rhythmic flow, issuing a constant stream of ideas and issues ranging from the profound to the profane, from Marxism to Nando’s and from political commentary to ‘middle-aged’ observations about his cat, the aptly-named Sir John Betjeman. During his poems, Wright effortlessly switches tonal registers so that he never gets stuck in one position, coming across as introspective and informative but also chatty and matey without either side overcoming the other. This approach in particular makes his early digressions on specific poets and forms of poetry the best kind of edutainment.
However, it’s the second half of Wright’s show that is the strongest and most compelling, as he details his adoption and how it affects his identity and familial relationships. Wright doesn’t give a one-sided perspective on these issues, providing empathetic and insightful poems about his loving adoptive parents, his biological brother’s career as a drum and bass DJ, seeing his birthplace being demolished and finally his mother giving birth to him in her flat.
This last poem gives Wright full reign to once again switch between multiple tones, moving from comic yet uncanny vocal impressions one minute to heart-wrenching sadness the next, but with even more intensity than before. Silver Jubilee not only gives Wright the space to express the issues surrounding his identity as an adopted child but also the opportunity to showcase why he’s been a poet for twenty-five years. On the basis of the stellar quality of this show – here’s to another twenty-five.