REVIEW: John Cooper Clark, New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

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Knees Up! hosts The Fabulous Josh and Welsh Aunty BopaRhys meet their public

Cabaret fun for all the family in a right old Knees Up!

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Dr John Cooper Clarke is the UK’s most influential poet in the modern era.

With a reputation preceding him and a career fluctuating over the past 50 years across TV, music, literature and the poetry scene, he gave us an extraordinary peek into the life of a living legend.

He was announced with an intense introductory fanfare declaring his arrival in true punk fashion.

The show was jam-packed with rapid spoken word poetry, casual outbursts of song, quick gags and unique ponderings of today – the work of what could be described as a rambling genius.

At the end of the show, Cooper Clarke professed his thanks to the audience for turning up and it was apparent he enjoyed our company as much as we did his.

With his innovative performance and old-school vibes, the poet was truly remarkable and it was a great feeling to be entirely at his whim.

Not to be outdone by Cooper Clarke’s linguistic excellence was the supporting act, Simon Day.

The comedian, better known for his work on The Fast Show, opened the evening with fantastic stand-up comedy and a series of hilarious true stories.

Unfortunately, Clare Ferguson Walker and James Massiah, two rising stars on the poetry scene were also meant to perform but they were forced to cancel and although changes were made to the line-up, Day and Cooper Clarke expertly managed to captivate the audience throughout the show.