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Free gig at village pub by nationally acclaimed poet to be signed

PUBLISHED: 05:29 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:36 21 March 2019

Niamh McAllister and her dad Brian run The Barrel in Banham. Niamh, who performs under her first name, needs a hearing aid. PHOTO: Laura Goodchild

Niamh McAllister and her dad Brian run The Barrel in Banham. Niamh, who performs under her first name, needs a hearing aid. PHOTO: Laura Goodchild

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One of the UK’s top poets will be performing a free and sign language-interpreted gig at a Norfolk village pub next month.

Poet Luke Wright will be performing his new show Poet Laureate at Diss Corn Hall. Picture: Idil SukanPoet Luke Wright will be performing his new show Poet Laureate at Diss Corn Hall. Picture: Idil Sukan

Luke Wright is bringing his national tour Poet Laureate to The Barrel Pub in Banham in a performance that is hoped will encourage cultural events for the deaf community.

This is part of The Barrel’s increasing efforts to cater to people with hearing disabilities.

Run by father-and-daughter team Brian and Niamh McAllister since 2017, The Barrel has swiftly attained a reputation as a performance venue.

Mr McAllister, 56, said: “She runs The Barrel during the day and I run it at night.

“It became a music venue pretty much by accident. We both just love music and it became this venue and it is just growing and growing.”

Miss McAllister is a musician herself, performing under her first name Niamh.

The 20-year-old is one of the youngest women in the country to run a pub and has already recorded one album.

In 2018 she realised she was relying heavily on lip-reading so took a hearing test, where she was told she needed a hearing aid.

In response to this The Barrel has been putting on sign language lessons for the village community. Miss McAllister said she wants everyone to receive the same “warm welcome” no matter what their hearing ability is.

Mr McAllister said: “We are keen to help the deaf community, partly because my daughter needs a hearing aid. There are about 15 of us learning at the moment.

“We are big fans of Luke Wright and we’ll be putting on this event for free because we are keen to get art into the community.”

Luke Wright, Poet Laureate takes a tour through previous Poets Laureates, from the launch of the role, to flatter royalty, through the years it was a reward for worthy wordsmiths, and on to the end of the 20th century when Laureates no longer reigned for life but were given 10 year tenures and were more about penning poetry for the people than rhyming about royals.

As he delves into the surprisingly murky world of former Poets Laureate, he hauls out heroes, villains and people who didn’t even write poetry.

Luke Wright will be performed at The Barrel in The Applyard in Banham on Sunday, April 14 from 8pm.

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