REVIEW: What I Learned from Johnny Bevan. Harrogate Theatre Studio

Award-winning performance poet Luke Wright
Award-winning performance poet Luke Wright

Release The Hounds were the originators of the wonderful poetry/spoken word festival in Knaresborough, alas after three years and with audiences growing it now appears to be dormant!

This was a Release The Hounds promotion at the Harrogate Studio Theatre.

This performance space was new to me , it allows the audience to be up close and very personal with the performers.

Luke Wright is as good as it gets under the poet, writer, broadcaster and actor umbrella

He performed his one- man self-penned stage show, What I Learned From Johnny Bevan, a politically charged piece set around the Thatcher era, leading on to the Blairite dream and brought right up to date with UKIP, Brexit and the unknown.

The fictional Johnny Bevan is an inspirational character, he smashes through the bubble of normality for some of his fellow university students and introduces them to new realms of music, books and politics his outspoken and clear direct philosophy and friendship cuts through all class barriers and takes them into a exiting adventurous world.

The moment Luke Wright strides to stage front his youthful looks disappear and we are lasered by his steely glare.

The breakneck speed of his poetic storytelling is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride ,characters are brought to life as Wright morphs and shapeshifts into them.

At times the audience are unsure and alarmed and because of the performers close proximity as to whether he is or not actually talking to them, breathless we dare not inhale should we too 
become part of the narrative.

It’s a blistering performance which never lets up as we go deep into those turbulent past times and into the here and now, only more questions arise, with our own thoughts regarding friendship, political divisions and our compassion for our fellow humans, very much on peoples mind today!

What did I learn from Johnny Bevan? The next time Luke Wright comes to town you need to be there, tonight was epic in every respect.