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The Early Word 4.5**** - One4Review

The Early Word 4.5****

| On 07, Aug 2023

John Hegley is a masterclass in performing. He’s got the air of experience that says that nothing fazes him (and nothing does. Not lights not working, not people leaving for a wee). He’s got the chilled and relaxed vibe of someone who knows they can’t control everything (stage lights, again) but who knows he can deal with whatever happens. And he’s got amazing poems and great songs and lovely drawings, and he understands how serious the business of being silly actually is, and the whole thing together is quite magical and rather enthralling.

Mr Hegley wanders on stage and starts talking before you’ve even realised he’s there, explaining the image on screen (from the flyer) in the (decreasingly) stern and rather dry mode that persists throughout. Dry doesn’t mean devoid of emotion, however, it just means a deadpan delivery with a twinkle in the eye. Mr Hegley is serious – passionate, enthusiastic – about his art, but also about sharing it with other people. He’s playful with it too, but playful doesn’t have to mean ‘not profound’.

There’s audience participation, but it’s the whole audience, some call-and-response and some queuing up the lines, and it brings you in and makes you feel like a valuable part of the show, rather than singling folk out to feel isolated. All of our adults joined in, and the couple of children had massive grins. I can imagine Mr Hegley’s poetry workshops being the most fun thing a school does in the entire year. This is a show definitely worth getting out of bed for.


Reviewed by Laura


10:15 (1hr)

Until 27th (not Mondays)

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