Other Theatre shows:

TES - Tess of the D’Urbervilles re-imagined

A teenager is found to be the direct descendant of a Romantic Poet.

Kester Byron's life is thus thrust on a tragic trajectory... inevitably?

Poet Steve Larkin, who creates "theatre that will speak equally to

those who find their poetry from classic literary forms or subversive


Uptown, Canada ***** reworks the classic.


An under employed artist lands a job as a ‘poet-in-residence’ at high security therapeutic prison.  Follow him into every dark corner helping dangerous criminals escape... through creative writing.


Edmonton Journal, Canada

4.5 stars

Stage 7, Yardbird Suite

Manic, terrifying, acerbic, brilliant and worst of all, tragically prescient, what English performing poet Steve Larkin does is add two plus two and come up gasping for air in a world he convincingly considers doomed. But never mind that, because the Leeds-based performer also offers a solution, regardless of whether it’s a Wednesday, Saturday or Boxing Day: just drink.

Smashing together palatable slam poetry with politics-driven songs played on a balalaika like it was a rented ukulele, Larkin’s wit and energy are both breathless. Words like “Good news only flows on a slow news day,” might shoehorn you into his head, while attacking our Americanized term “restroom,” he jibes: “I’m just going for a good stinky rest.”

But this is not a cabaret of one-liners so much as a tortured expose of a former pot addict who’s based the name of his show, Fat Sex, on the two things with which women’s magazines are obsessed — weight and constant, perfect orgasms. With a justifiably paranoid nuttiness, Larkin shifts between joking, “If women get obsessed completely with sex, men already are, so nothing’s left” and seriously noting that girls are menstruating three-quarters of a year earlier than they were a decade back because of constant bombardment with sexual imagery. So, joke songs, then scary observations spanning geopolitics and a Marxist view of art.

Ground Zero of the show recounts how Larkin was hired, then banned, by the British House of Commons to perform a scathing poem convincing the elderly to move around more because they can no longer afford to heat their homes. Not for ostriches — you might like the world a little less after you see this, but you’ll adore this man’s multi-pronged defence mechanisms.

Fish Griwkowsky


Fat Sex

Victoria Times Colonist

Langham Court Theatre, 805 Langham Court

Rating: 5 stars

Don’t be misled by the advertising for what at first glance seems like a show that solely skewers pop culture’s obsession with women’s body issues and apparent desperation to have better sex, particularly via magazines such as Cosmopolitan.

While Steve Larkin does address this issue with subversive panache through his electrifying fusion of music and the spoken word, it’s just part of what the Leeds-born satirist, Oxford lecturer, philosophy graduate and performance poet rails against. Larkin, whose affability and quick, biting wit recalls Craig Ferguson, also conveys the social conscience of Pete Seeger when he fiercely strums his mandolin for acerbic assaults on everything from corporate malfeasance to globalization, which he wickedly riffs on in The Post-Colonial Global Blues.

A cheerfully irreverent rebel whose intelligence is abundantly obvious, and who isn’t afraid to slag confessional poets or dare suggest that watching Disney is more harmful than porn, Larkin won over his sparse opening-night crowd with apparent ease. I suspect other audiences will as enthusiastically accept his invitation to chant “wanker” repeatedly during an audience participation number.

Typical of this creative anarchist’s disarming off-kilter style was that he chose to address the opening-night audience collectively as “Sydney,” simply because it happened to be the loudest name shouted out when he asked us to identify ourselves in unison. As philosophical provocateurs go, this guy’s the real deal.

— Michael D. Reid