Here's Helen's next review
John Hegley (pictured) - 'Letters to an Earwig', Pleasance 2, 1pm
John Hegley, along with John Cooper Clark, was one of the pioneers of
modern performance poetry and, for many years, practically its
sole representative at the Fringe. It's great to see him back here each year,
doing his stuff.
This show has much new material, as well as a few old favourites (yes,
including the perennial vertically-challenged house in Luton). This time, it
seemed a lot more visual, with Hegley even inviting audience members to draw and
add to his collage on stage, along with a great poem taking the odd swipe at
Picasso. Perhaps also for visual effect, he has a swing on stage from which to
read; that must be an art in itself.
Hegley remains a master of audience engagement - though he does tend
to exercise a certain amount of positive discrimination towards persons wearing
glasses. He even makes his admonishments endearing - 'No, no, no! Wait until
there is a consensus on applause.'
The actual 'Letters to an Earwig' poems range from a ridiculous but
poignant invocation of childhood to a surprisingly romantic declaration of love
by an ant-eater. Perhaps a bit more poetry and less song would have been
welcome, but it is hard to fault this maestro.
Four stars for this medley of comedy, great voice, song, guitar (sort of)
and superbly entertaining poetry.