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.