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Luke Wright: 'I wanted my story to work on the page and the stage'

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The author explains how a theatre director helped him take What I Learned from Johnny Bevan – an epic poem about a middle-class journalist who falls under the spell of a working-class poet – all the way to Edinburgh

I consider What I Learned from Johnny Bevan an epic poem. I can say that here, this newspaper being the refuge of broad-minded, artistic types who won’t balk at such grandiloquence. But for the last year I’ve been describing it to most people as a “play” to save the frayed nerves of Britain’s regional theatre managers. “An epic poem, eh? That sounds really … long.”

Related: Edinburgh festival review: What I Learned from Johnny Bevan – powerfully poetic storytelling

Related: Political poetry with Luke Wright and Hollie McNish – books podcast

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