A wide-ranging, unique, and heartfelt comedy that will leave you yearning for more spoken poetry.
The Monkey Poet creates a welcoming, cosy atmosphere for his audience before proceeding to his hybrid art form of stand up and poetry. Not that the genres are contradictory, but who knew that they married so well? His cheeky charm endears us to him immediately. He opens his set by challenging preconceptions of what poetry’s all about. He pinpoints the stereotypical image of it as dusty, dull and irrelevant, proceeding to exterminate this preconception of poetry for the following hour of his performance. The Monkey Poet wins his audience over to the art with brilliantly daring, politically involved and humanly sensitive pieces. His poetry is closer to slam than what you’d find at a traditional poetry reading, and seems to encapsulate what the literary form is morphing into for modern and future generations.
Crucial to the Monkey Poet’s relevance and success are his pieces about current affairs and the political. Our Manchester poet is a well-informed, news-reading man, and makes sure to include his opinions on the referendum, gay marriage and the Israel Palestine conflict. One of the most charming aspects of the performance is Monkey Poet’s celebration of the British Isles whilst remaining skeptical about the figures that run it. Nationalism has gathered such negative connotations, especially in England, and the he calls on us to dispel borders and the political from our appreciations of one another.
Although many of his poems are in jest, he uses the technique of ‘stepping outside’ of them to dispel any misconception of his intentions. It is a clever technique that allows the Monkey Poet to perfectly associate the serious and the humorous; he proves versatile, true to comedy yet including a number of poems with an earnest tone to them. Clearly, he has a vast repertoire of work which he adapts according to the audience present, and according to the turns that the discussion takes. On the day that I attended, a Texan was present as well as a German girl which influenced the direction that the performance took. Seemingly, our man is eminently at ease with all situations, and the audience relaxes into what he has to say. Whether they agree with him or not, his opinions and the format through which he presents them are well worth a listen.
So go and see The Monkey Poet’s show at The Banshee Labyrinth. It will only cost you what you choose to leave in the hat on your way out, and is a wide-ranging, unique, and heartfelt comedy that will leave you yearning for more spoken poetry. Putting his own spin on stand up and poetry, this man certainly is Breaking Bard.