I wasn’t sure what to expect from poet Luke Wright; I had never seen poetry performed live before. I wasn’t sure if I’d need to click my fingers or sit in silence, but what followed in the next hour, sat inside the small yet intimate venue of Pleasance Above, can only be described as the most raw exploration of our country and its failings that I have seen at the Fringe.
Wright’s poem, The Remains of Logan Dankworth, focuses on the political bombshell that is Brexit and its devastating aftermath. The protagonist and voice of the poem, Logan Dankworth, is a stand-up-turned-political-pundit, who seems to have no political opinions of his own and instead takes whatever position will earn him the most clicks. Wright creatively explores the role of journalists in the Brexit referendum through the motif of war; Brexit has become a war of politics, and it’s ultimately journalists like him who will end up determining the result of the vote, using the public influence they have as ‘ammunition’.
The devastating truth of this show is that nobody really expected the country to vote Leave. This is conveyed beautifully by the set’s lighting, a set of LED poles arranged in a semi-circle around the stage. The show’s most poignant moment was when the result of the vote was announced, and the poles changed one by one from yellow (to signify Remain) to blue (to signify Leave). At this point in the poem, it genuinely felt as if the future of decent and ethical journalism, which so often dictates public discourse, had been shattered.
I found it so interesting to compare Wright’s exploration of the breakdown of Britain’s relationship with the EU alongside the breakdown of Dankworth’s relationship with his wife, caused by his thirst for recognition in the ‘war’ that is politics. Wright spoke so beautifully; his words were painful, lyrical yet pointed, flowing into each other as if just spouted from a pen. I was left feeling stunned by Wright’s performance; how was he able to remember every single line and still manage to dictate each line with such anger and sincerity?
If you see anything at this year’s Fringe, see this. Wright gave such a truly captivating performance and I left the theatre feeling stunned; this really is an experience that will stick with me for a long time.
Luke Wright, ‘The Remains of Logan Dankworth’ is at Pleasance Courtyard – Pleasance Above August 11-14, 18-29 at 15:45.
Luke Wright also has another show at the Fringe, ‘Luke Wright’s Late Night Dance Floor Fillers (Poems) at Pleasance Dome – JackDome, August 11-14, 18-29 at 23:00.
Image credit: Andrew Florides, provided to The Student as a press image.