Anyone looking for Phill Jupitus’ stand-up, please look elsewhere. As he announced at the beginning of the show: Phill is not here. Porky’s in town.
Phill Jupitus’ Porky the Poet gives him the chance to showcase his poetry - something that he quite obviously loves to do. With an array of styles and topics, he shows himself to be a humorous poet and a gifted and animated performer.
Jupitus takes us on a journey through ‘Zeitgeist Limbo’ with multiple pop culture references. This works to great comedic effect, with a particularly memorable (and rather sexually explicit) poem on Jeremy Clarkson.He provides each poem with its context in a laidback and amusing way, slightly blurring the distinction between his stand-up and his poetry, through his (occasionally lengthy) tales. It was this relaxed demeanour and easy rapport with the audience that made the show even more enjoyable.
Jupitus used rhyming structures for the bulk of his poetry, which often helped to reinforce some of his fantastic finale punch lines, or else were purposefully subverted in order to provide the joke. For example, one of my favourite poems, ‘The Readers’, delivered its wonderful final twist in a rhyming couplet. Indeed, rhymes formed the basis of his selection of clerihews - short AABB poems - used to deliver a section of politically-based, Tory-bashing poems which went down very well. Another of his more ingenious methods was employed in his ‘10 Line Fringe 2013’ - whereby he shall write a new poem every day, entirely formed from titles of Fringe shows. The result was smart and pleasing, though whimsical and throwaway - an observation that could be applied to a few of the poems.
Despite much laughter throughout, the ‘Clown vs. Bard’ and ‘Bard vs. Clown’ poems did offer an interesting look into Jupitus’ struggle between what he loves (poetry) and what he has been able to make a career out of (comedy). Although the show proves time and again that, for him, the two are quite inextricably interlinked, it does feel like a privilege to see Jupitus engaging with a responsive audience, on the Free Fringe, in another medium that he is so passionate about. It was a pleasure to be introduced to Porky the Poet.