Poetry Hitch, Catherine Brogan
Reviewed by: Julia Rampen
Poetry can sometimes be seen as a pretentious art. But Catherine Brogan really loves it. She delivers her lines like she’s addicted to the stuff, her hips swinging to the beat.
A squatter, hitchhiker and proud dumpster-diver, Brogan lives an unusual life, and this provides the material for the strongest parts of her mostly autobiographical set. ‘The only crystal I want is clear’, Brogan declares in a poem about hippies who don’t wash up. She’s generous with her life experience too: a description of sex with a strange woman in a Berlin nightclub is brave, explicit, and funny. The presence of a guest poet adds variety to the show: Jackie Hagan launched into a wonderful confessional poem about the attractions of coffee and tea.
Even with a guest poet, though, I felt the show became a little repetitive. Brogan likes to talk about her Irish background but, with the exception of the amazing opening line ‘I was fingered by a terrorist’, I felt like I’d heard a lot of this before. A few poems seemed to consist of little more than information, rhymed.
Brogan seems well suited to the alternative vibe of the Fringe. Whether the Fringe is a suitable challenge for her is another matter.