Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson

An impressive performance from the poet laureate

Carol Ann Duffy and John Sampson

Carol Ann Duffy opens her readings with a series of poems inspired by World War One. The first poem is deeply moving; paired with the Wilfred Own poem it was written as a response to, read by John Sampson. Sampson accompanies Duffy throughout the performance - providing musical interludes as well as comic relief. His interludes included playing a fascinating assortment of traditional instruments, not to mention a character of Mozart, among other things.

Duffy performs a number of poems from her book The World's Wife - in which she imagines the perspectives of the wives of famous men and male characters through history. Her chosen poems for this performance are on a number of real and fictional wives and their imagined experiences. The poems are frank about female experience, scathing when they need to be, at other times deceptively simple and often very funny too. Her wit is acerbic, and the poems are acutely intelligent, with clever literary allusions and wordplay. She moves through other a number of other works which become more and more personal in nature - changing in tone.

Every poem is prefaced with a short explanation from Duffy, offering insight into her process and greater understanding of her work. Her interaction with Sampson is fun and amusing, keeping a show full of very emotional poems very light hearted. It was a wonderful opportunity to see one of the best known contemporary poets in the English language perform and it absolutely did not disappoint - don't miss the opportunity to see Duffy and Sampson while you can.

For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.


Ellen Orange

Ellen Orange Contributor

I am a 24 year old Marketing Officer from the North East with a passion for arts and writing. I did a BA in English Literature and an MA in Twentieth and Twenty First Century Literature at Durham University, because I love books and reading! I have experience in writing for a variety of student publications, as well as having contributed to Living North, a regional magazine and Culture magazine, a supplement to regional newspaper, The Journal. I have been part of a Young Journalists scheme writing for NewcastleGateshead's Juice Festival, a young people's arts and culture festival, and have since become a Team Juice member. As well as reading and writing, I love theatre, photography and crafts.

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