Review: N.O.N.C.E (4.5 Stars)


Victoria Fringe Festival

4.5 Stars


I confess:  I’m a sucker for a good poet.  And a good poet telling a compelling story…?

N.O.N.C.E is comprised of Steve Larkin’s retelling of his time as a poet-in-residence at a UK prison.  And not a corporate, white-collar detention centre, either.  He swapped ideas and rhymes with murderers, rapists, and child molesters.  Just another day at the office, right?

Larkin’s poetic prowess is apparent from the very start of the show.  He seamlessly slips lines of poetry into the narrative.  These rhymes and rhythms drive the plot instead of interrupting the story.  The one poem that he does recite, full-out, fits perfectly into the theme.  And although the subject matter may be disturbing to some, nobody will take objection to the poetic interpolations.

N.O.N.C.E. was a long piece – I think it could have been tightened up a bit, but otherwise it was a completely enjoyable piece of performance poetry.

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