Internationally renowned poet to bring his new show to Brighton in October

Internationally renowned poet to bring his new show to Brighton in October

Komedia date on tour for award winning poet’s new show, based on Georgian street ballads. Also published in book form with illustrations by Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson

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

Luke Wright, winner of Best Spoken Word Performer at May’s 2021 Saboteur Awards, 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 10 October.

‘One of the funniest and most brilliant poets of his generation’ Independent

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.

‘One of the greats. A poetic pugilist’ Carl Barât (The Libertines)

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.’

‘Cool poems’ Patti Smith

Luke Wright is one of Britain’s top stand-up poets. Flamboyant, political and riotously funny, Wright’s inventive shows are enjoyed by thousands of people across the world every year. He is the author of three full collections and three pamphlets of poetry, as well as three verse plays. He is the winner of a Fringe First, a Stage Award for Acting Excellence, and three Saboteur Awards.

He 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.

The Ballad Seller will tour throughout 2021. Luke is also touring his third verse play The Remains of Logan Dankworth and his newest collection, Come! Come on! Meet me!.

‘His performances rumble with rage, passion and humour, peppered with brilliantly smart observations.’
The Guardian

Brighton listings info follows.

Luke Wright: The Ballad Seller
Multi award winning poet updates the scandalous, bawdy and colourful Georgian ballad storytelling style for the modern ear in his eleventh full length poetry show.

Sunday 10 October 7.30pm
Brighton Komedia 44-47 Gardner St, BN1 1UN
£15 (£12 concs) 01273 647100

More dates are being added all the time, visit for the latest list