Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 29 September 2021

The Ballad Seller: Internationally Renowned Poet Brings His New Show To Komedia Brighton

Back in Georgian times we got our news from poetry. Before newspapers, broadcasts or the internet, ballad sellers would hawk broadside ballads on street corners for a penny. 
Credit Andrew Florides

Scandalous affairs, grisly crimes, and colourful characters were brought to life in rhyming verse long before the first tabloid was printed.

Luke Wright has based his 11th full length poetry show, The Ballad Seller, on these bawdy street ballads. 

As part of an extensive UK tour the show comes to Brighton Komedia on Sunday 10th October 2021.

Wright has rewritten the very best of these stories for the modern ear. 

Take a trip through Drury Lane gin shops with the Boxing Baroness; filch oysters by the dozen with celebrated gormandizer (glutton) Dando; and escape the Bull Ring with Jemmy the Rockman. Expect scandal, excess, and beautiful, flawed humanity.

The Ballad Seller is also a limited edition book which features illustrations by The Guardian's chief political cartoonist Martin Rowson.


Luke says: 

"These days we associate the word 'ballad' with a kind of slow, syrupy song, but traditionally it meant a narrative poem or song. 

"For hundreds of years ballads were the backbone of the average Briton's cultural experience. 

"By the 18th century the most gossipy, salacious news stories were written as ballads and sold in their thousands. 

"Frankly, the quality of the verse was pretty awful, but the characters brilliant. 

"In this show I've brought those characters to life by extending the ballads and giving their stories space to breathe."

Luke regularly tours with John Cooper Clarke and The Libertines and was recently dubbed 'the bard of lockdown' by The Daily Telegraph after his marathon stint of 100 consecutive nights of online shows. 

Brighton listings info follows.

Luke Wright: The Ballad Seller at Komedia Brighton on Sunday 10th October 2021. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley




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