Keith Hutson’s debut collection, Baldwin’s Catholic Geese, looks at life, death, triumph, tragedy, through the lens of not only beloved music hall and variety artistes like Hylda Baker and Frankie Howerd, but also the obscure, long-forgotten acts such as The Bryn Pugh Sponge Dancers, Macauley’s Leaping Infants, Willy Netta’s Singing Jockeys, and many more.
Here is a celebration of poetic form and of the extraordinary characters who have entertained us for over two centuries. Comedy and grief, laughter and mourning bring into sharp focus what it means for all of us who have to make the most of our luck – the good, the bad, and the bizarre.
Keith Hutson has written for Coronation Street and for many well-known comedians. He has published two poetry pamphlets, Routines (2016) and Troupers (2018).
‘These poems illuminate something timeless about ambition and the human spirit. Keith Hutson is a wonderful talent – his hardworking, technically-assured poems arrive all of a piece centre-stage.’ – Carol Ann Duffy, on Troupers
‘Knowing, funny, sad, virtuoso, these compelling sonnets bring theatrefuls of yesteryear vividly to life. Keith Hutson explores art as artfulness, performance as a way of coping, or seeming to. His ad-libs are perfectly timed and if we laugh out loud at his routines, we flinch too at the “imaginary hot fat” of the risks his characters take by being centre-stage.’ – Peter Sansom, on Routines