REVIEW: Radio 4 poet Matt Harvey joins jazz and comedy night at Joanna’s Place in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 16:36 04 November 2019

Joanna Eden. Photo: ARCHANT

Joanna Eden. Photo: ARCHANT


Perhaps the peak of his dog poetry was the line showing unconditional love, when an owner states: “You are not my dog” and the dog stubbornly responds: “You are the best owner I’ve ever had.”

Leigh McDonald (left) and Joanna Eden (right). Photo: ARCHANTLeigh McDonald (left) and Joanna Eden (right). Photo: ARCHANT

Matt Harvey performed his own poems, as well as the famous counting game, Tinker Tailor, Rich Man, Poor man, Beggar Man, Thief, Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief.

Quizzing the audience on the second half of the poem, he said: "Didn't you know what goes next? That's why you don't have better jobs."

His poetry was illustrated with pictures by his friend, Claudia Schmid, who inspired him to write based on her visuals. Many had dogs as a central theme and perfectly complemented the images, while accurately portraying dogs as loyal, innocent friends of humans.

His poem, Lap Dog was accompanied by a picture of a big dog sitting on its owner's lap. Matt recited from the owner's perspective: "He can't be arsed and I can't move".

Poet Matt Harvey. Photo: ARCHANTPoet Matt Harvey. Photo: ARCHANT

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In another poem, called I'm Fine, the owner is underneath the dog, saying: "What matters is that I can breathe and he feels safe."

Perhaps the peak of his dog poetry was the line showing unconditional love, when an owner states: "You are not my dog" and the dog stubbornly responds: "You are the best owner I've ever had."

Matt and Joanna Eden, the host of Joanna's Place in Saffron Walden, met in Devon. Joanna had listened to him a lot on Saturday Live on Radio 4. For his visit to Saffron Walden, he recited Lonely Hearts accompanied on the piano by Joanna.

In the second part of the night, Joanna was joined by actress Leigh McDonald and they performed extracts from their Brighton Fringe award-winning musical cabaret show, Mac and Eden.

They celebrated female friendship through singing. Perhaps the most interesting and powerful performance of the night was Joanna's solo of a self-written song, which she described as: "Not about Brexit" but about how she wishes we could argue better. She sang: "I love this world, I wish we could get along. How do I treat you with respect when I think your reasoning is wrong?

"It's better when you focus on what you have in common. I wish we could learn how to disagree, before we start World War Three."

The show served as yet another proof that this monthly entertainment night never disappoints.

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