Review – Pulse Festival 3

Pulse Festival 3 – Tuesday 5th June – New Wolsey Theatre

Frankie Vah – written and performed by Luke Wright

I’ve followed Luke Wright since he emerged onto the performance poetry scene as a raw newcomer 19 years ago. And he’s come a long way since then. More especially he’s managed to carve himself a niche in the poetry circuit that’s actually made performance poetry cool and him quite successful.

This latest outing is a look at the 1980’s and the politics of a rather disturbed generation who had to chose between a beaten and battered Labour party or the Tory policies of Mrs Thatcher .

Luke inhabits the character of Frankie Vah – alter ego of middle class vicar’s son Simon, who tears up his Dedham vale roots and goes in search of something to rebel against. He finds it in the form of political poetry gigs as supporting act to punk band Midnight Shift.

The story is told in Luke’s distinctive style of prose poem, and against a backdrop of vibrant backing tracks and projections of political rallies he takes us on Simon’s journey through angry teenager to lost 20 something who inevitably finds his life spiralling out of control, cheats on his girlfriend and lives to regret the excesses of life on the road.

This was a vibrant and powerful production from a performer that has grown in stature and become more confident and accomplished, while never losing sight of his baseline politics, or talent to take poetry to a different level.

White – KoKo Brown

Koko Brown is an engaging performer who combines the spoken word with a vocal loop system to explore what it means to be mixed race and never quite feeling your fitting in.

Product of a white Irish mother and black Jamaican father –Brown looks at life in the middle of two worlds – the need we all have to fit in – and what it means to be both sides of the coin in today’s culture.

A little bit repetitive – but a confident and honest performance that got her points across without ever giving easy answers.

Suzanne Hawkes

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