Roger McGough at Liverpool Playhouse

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Roger McGough
Poet Roger McGough.

Roger McGough: Alive and Gigging at Liverpool Playhouse, City Centre 19 May 2023 Tickets from £16.00 — Book now

Called ‘the patron saint of poetry’ by former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Roger McGough was one of the famous Liverpool Poets of the Sixties and now’s your chance to catch him on home turf. He might have recently turned 85, but the legend that is Roger McGough is back on stage – or Alive & Gigging, according to his latest show’s name.

Alongside Adrian Henri and Brian Patten, Roger McGough helped influence popular culture with The Mersey Sound – published in 1967, it is one of the bestselling poetry anthologies of all time, selling over a million copies. Also in the 1960s, with John Gorman and Mike McGear, he performed a combination of comic songs, poetry and sketches as The Scaffold, and in 1968 they reached Number One in the UK Singles Chart with Lily The Pink.

Roger McGough helped influence popular culture with The Mersey Sound – published in 1967, it is one of the bestselling poetry anthologies of all time, selling over a million copies.

McGough has since published over 100 poetry books for adults and children (most recently Over to You, Crocodile Tears and Money Go Round), and he is a playwright and presents the BBC Radio 4 programme Poetry Please. He has won numerous awards including The Cholmondeley Award in 1988 and he received the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in 2001. He was awarded a CBE in 2004, and is a Fellow of The Royal Society and President of The Poetry Society, who call him: ‘A witty and ingenious chronicler of British life with a deftness and agility that is hard to beat.’

McGough’s most recent collection for grown-ups, Safety In Numbers – ‘traversing new yet timeless terrain with his signature wit and intimacy’ – was written during the Covid pandemic and came out in November 2021 with Penguin: ‘McGough brings down to earth the strangeness of a year that was almost lost. Staycations, ghosts, gamblers, hurricanes in a hurry, and small kindnesses. Unexpected voices, a nature trail, adultery in lockdown, time to stand and stare, and how to write verse about Liverpool.’

For his new show Alive & Gigging, expect the poet in a relaxed mood, sharing his poems and stories, featuring new poems as well as old favourites, and not a visual effect or backing vocalist in sight – ‘at that awkward age now between birth and death, he puts on a brave face and takes to the stage with a show featuring new poems as well as old favourites’.

Roger McGough’s performance will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

Safety In Numbers by Roger McGough
Safety In Numbers by Roger McGough

Roger McGough: Alive and Gigging at Liverpool Playhouse, City Centre 19 May 2023 Tickets from £16.00 Book now

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