Two Little Ducks
The powerful, personal and political poetry of a talented new voice visits the city
In the June 2016 referendum, poet Matt Abbott’s hometown of Wakefield voted 66% Leave. Either side of referendum day, he was volunteering at a Calais Jungle refugee camp just 22 miles from Dover. Now this rising star of the spoken word scene is taking his first full-length stage show, inspired by these events, on an extensive tour that visits Norwich Arts Centre on 10 October before continuing around the country and to London. The tour is co-produced with the Norwich venue.
Two Little Ducks is a fierce exploration of identity, prejudice and class fusing socio-political commentary and contemporary kitchen sink realism. As his verse shifts from coal mine to council estate to Calais jungle, Matt explores the divisions and discord of modern Britain, unafraid to voice opposing viewpoints.
At the Edinburgh Festival The Scotsman said ‘Every empty seat is a missed opportunity to see an artist with something to say who knows just ow to say it’
Matt said ‘I want to dismiss the sweeping generalisations of ‘Brexiteers’, whilst exposing the harsh realities of The Jungle that the mainstream media ignored. I feel qualified to comment having seen it first hand.’
Abbott makes full use of his razor-sharp wit, poetic storytelling and linguistic flair to present this personal and political show that both champions and confronts. This is poetry for the underdog from one of our leading new voices, presented in an engaging, accessible style that acts as an invitation and welcome mat for those new to poetry.
Lyrical, unapologetic and honest, his poetry is distinctly personal, political and passionate. It explores a country and society deep in the throes of Brexit induced chaos and with his warm unaffected delivery has a unique cross-generational appeal.
An early version of Two Little Ducks attracted a slew of 4 and 5 star reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017, where The Scotsman said ‘Every empty seat is a missed opportunity to see an artist with something to say who knows just how to say it’. The accompanying book, also titled Two Little Ducks, Abbott’s first ever full poetry collection, is published on 4 October (national poetry day) by Verve Poetry Press.
In a five star review The New European said ‘He weaves a magical spell with his words …. mature stuff from an exciting young Wakefield voice’ .
Abbott starred in Nationwide Building Society’s national TV ad campaign and has shared the stage with Jeremy Corbyn, Sleaford Mods, Ken Loach, Sara Pascoe, Paul Weller and Salena Godden. He founded and runs the independent spoken word label Nymphs & Thugs.
No sloganeering ranter, Matt is also an activist and supporter of several causes. He has toured in support of various causes and volunteered at the Calais jungle. He’s an ambassador for Trinity Homeless Projects, CRIBS International and Eureka! The National Children’s Museum and is Poet-in-Residence at the National Coal Mining Museum of England. A few years back Matt was in a band on the verge of the big time (major record deal, UK and overseas tours, major festivals, Radio 1, 6 Music favourites, etc.) but the music scene’s loss is very much the poetry world’s gain.
Matt Abbott Two Little Ducks
Politically charged poetry from fast rising new star exploring our fractured relationship with national identity, challenging preconceptions about the some of the communities which voted Brexit, as well as the unimaginable horror that took place in Calais, just 22 miles from UK shores.
Wednesday 10 October, 7.30pm
Pay what you can
Norwich Arts Centre, 51 St Benedict’s Street, Norwich, NR2 4PG