Bristol Old Vic studio. "Third-gendered, fallen Catholic, ex-fashion model La JohnJoseph combines song, vaudeville, proselytising, striptease and post-modern philosophy in an exhilarating collage which explores intersections between faith, gender, class and identity" ~ I can't put it better than the flyer, he certainly does all this. It's poignant and funny as well as outrageous, and painful too, but La JohnJoseph is charismatically watchable whether stripping, singing, or musing on a Sisyphusian capacity for pushing my luck.
Self-indulgent maybe but never self-pitying, even when describing a childhood of abuse and being left to care for his younger siblings just like any other teenage mum on the estate. Musical support from Stephen Quinn and paper-darts energised the interaction, costumes and showers of glitter enhanced the glamour. Vox pop from the loo: "best thing I've seen for a long time."
Luke Wright brought his current tour to the Merlin on Friday. The ironically immodest title Your New Favourite Poet met no resistance ~ Luke is hugely popular in Frome from previous visits, and his new Weekday Dad persona as a hands-on parent gave him extra cachet. His performance poems are often inspired by political sleeze, most recent being the public figure currently in the news (despite his leader's protestations that having a free press shouldn't mean they go finding out about things and printing the bloody stuff) entitled Lord Grope ~ (His sausage fingers on your leg, "It's alright, love, I know Nick Clegg") Much mirth throughout, loud applause at the end, and a long queue for his new book Mondeo Man which has as well as scything social satire some moving personal poems too.