Latitude FestivalPoetryReviewSouth EastSpoken Word

LATITUDE 2016: Daniel Piper

Venue: Poetry Tent
Reviewer: Andy Moseley


This 20-minute set starts very well but sadly goes downhill from there.

Daniel Piper is billed as a comedy poet and storyteller who walks a tightrope of euphoria and embarrassment. His opening poem, telling the story of the one month he spent as a vegetarian, and how much he came to deeply dislike it, is sharp and witty, delivered with a passion that says he means it. After that he takes a detour into a piece about Jesus, which is neither a poem or a story, but more like a string of biblical puns, including some that take very tortuous routes to get to very lame punch lines.<

From here, there is a slight recovery with a poem on the subject of drug taking and his one experience of E, but even here he seems unsure whether he wants to tell a poem or a story and settles for an exaggerated hybrid of the two, with a human beat box thrown in for good measure. As a result, the words aren’t really doing what they are meant to do and the story isn’t engaging enough to make up for the poetry.

Ending the set with a ten-minute extract from his upcoming Edinburgh show Daniel Piper Is In Four Gangshe switches more into storytelling mode, with the story of Sargeant Scoff and late night food stealing missions from his childhood, but again the early promise of the piece is undone by a story that lacks any genuine humour and isn’t particularly interesting the longer it goes on. That it also ends in a bad pun is perhaps further evidence of a poet who is trying to be something more, but at present lacks the material to support his ambitions.

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