Island tour

New Zealand tour with cabaret show is poet laureate’s ‘last hurray’

Mad Doggerel Cabaret features current Poet Laureate David Eggleton, right, poet Daren Kamali, left, and musician Richard Wallis.

Provided

Mad Doggerel Cabaret features current Poet Laureate David Eggleton, right, poet Daren Kamali, left, and musician Richard Wallis.

David Eggleton’s current tour of the country is his “last hurrah” as New Zealand Poet Laureate.

His three-year run as Poet Laureate ends Friday, just as Eggleton enters the final leg of his national tour with Mad Doggerel Cabaret.

The show, which comes to the Christchurch Center for the Arts on Tuesday, is a wild mix of poetry and music featuring the latest poems by Eggleton, music by David Wallis and the “spellbinding and shamanic” poems of Daren Kamali.

Eggleton said it had been interesting to be the country’s Poet Laureate during such a turbulent time.

READ MORE:
* “It’s very easy to write about sadness”: how poets find inspiration in times of crisis
* Scottish multimedia drone cabaret is coming to New Zealand
* Palmerston North Father and Son Poets Achieve Unique Double Billing

“I was the winner of containment,” he said. “It was quite a trip.”

He said he tried to find “dark and sardonic humor” in recent events. He wrote poems about pandemic billionaires and was inspired by John Key’s description of New Zealand as a ‘hermit kingdom’.

“I wrote a poem about how billionaires have amassed incredible wealth during the pandemic, while other people are suffering.

“It’s called The Squillionaire.”

Eggleton's reign as New Zealand Poet Laureate comes to an end on Friday.

Provided

Eggleton’s reign as New Zealand Poet Laureate comes to an end on Friday.

He described the Mad Doggerel Cabaret show as “street performers presenting a cabaret of New Zealand life today with light, topical poetry”.

“Poetry can be serious and po-faced and a bit inward. My poems are for everyone and edgy without getting caught up in the angst of things.

“There are so many ways to write a poem, but people limit themselves to the dying.

“It’s closer to chanson and rock n roll for me.”

Eggleton toured New Zealand with the Mad Doggerel Cabaret.

Provided

Eggleton toured New Zealand with the Mad Doggerel Cabaret.

The tour, which took the trio from Whangarei to Stewart Island, gave Eggleton plenty of inspiration for new poems.

“It’s been good to see all the small towns and see what life is like.

“In Whanganui, we saw an anti-vax shop with all the conspiracy theory slogans. Things like that will eventually turn into poems.

“It takes time because I want the language to last and not be just a little squib.”

He said they felt like a band of “roving troubadours or minstrels” as they toured the country in minibuses.

“It makes you feel like you’re part of a long line going back to medieval times.

“I’ve always had my ear to the ground to hear the tones of the moment and how people feel about things.

“I tap into these and turn them into rhythm and rhyme.”