Dr John Cooper Clarke


Literary phenomenon John Cooper Clarke is a British cult hero. Known as the ‘Godfather of Punk Poetry’ and the original ‘people’s poet’, John’s cultural influence spans literature, music and fashion. From creating some of the most iconic poetry of the modern era, including  I Wanna Be Yours (recently celebrating over a billion streams in its incarnation as a hit record by the Arctic Monkeys) to sharing his life story through his 120k selling memoir of the same name. John is referenced as a major influence not just by the Arctic Monkeys but also by artists across the globe including, The Sleaford Mods and Plan B, whilst his legendary number Evidently Chickentown plays out the penultimate episode of The Sopranos.

Watching John Cooper Clarke perform is an opportunity to see a living legend at the top of his game.


5.30pm Building Opens

7.30pm Luke Wright

8.15pm Interval

8.45pm John Cooper Clarke

All timings approximate and subject to change

More abut John Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s. Captivating audiences with his unique poetry and delivery style, he clawed his way up from working mens’ clubs and cabaret venues in his native Salford and Manchester, to become one of the most prolific figures in punk. His work, as it grew in popularity, was put to music by legendary producer Martin Hannett and a collection of Mancunian icons including Buzzcocks’ Peter Shelley and The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly. Seminal tracks such as Beasley St and Evidently Chickentown featured on his hit album Snap, Crackle and Bop, establishing John as one of the most important artists of the Punk era.

John’s early live shows were renowned occasions, and headline gigs were supported by many soon-to-be superstars including Joy Division, New Order and Duran Duran. John also featured as a special guest with the likes of the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Clash, carving his own niche as a stand-up poet. His first collection 10 Years in an Open Necked Shirt featured lyrics to tracks from his albums, as well as brand new original material. The book is one of the best-selling poetry anthologies ever in the UK, Canada and Australia.

John’s success continued as he went on to become globally recognised touring the world, and collaborating with artists such as  Elvis Costello and Nico. His journey was stalled by a heroin addiction, which hampered his creative output and eventually led to John living a somewhat ferrell existence for much of the 1980s and 90s. His resurgence in the 00s onwards has been a phenomena, with John’s popularity and creativity reaching new stellar heights as he plays to his biggest audiences yet at large theatres and festivals around the globe.

As relevant and vibrant as ever, John Cooper Clarke’s influence is just as visible in contemporary pop culture, with his trademark ‘look’ resonating with fashion-conscious individuals across all demographics and his poetry featuring in the English national curriculum syllabus. His popularity as alive performer in 2023 is bigger than ever throughout his almost 50 year long performing career

John’s 2018 poetry collection The Luckiest Guy Alive featured 30 new poems, including favorites such as I’ve Fallen In Love With My Wife, Beasley Boulevard and Get Back on Drugs you Fat F*ck. His long-awaited 2020 autobiography I Wanna Be Yours is a groundbreaking piece of literature and a ‘riveting memoir’, going into revealing and fascinating detail about his early life in Manchester, punk superstardom, drug addiction and his comeback as the major poet of today.

John continues to feature on iconic British TV shows such as 8 out of 10 Cats, Would I Lie To You, Pointless Celebrities and Have I Got News For You. John was a well received guest on the UK’s most popular shows of all time – BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs – describing his appearance on the show as having “all the finality of a suicide note, without the actual obligation of topping yourself”.

John’s own film company produced the acclaimed documentary EVIDENTLY JOHN COOPER CLARKE which records and celebrates his life as a poet, revealing his significant influence on contemporary culture over four decades and featuring a roster of household names paying tribute to John including Bill Bailey, Plan B, Steve Coogan, Kate Nash and Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner. The punk poet was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts by Salford University in 2013, in recognition of “a career which has spanned five decades, bringing poetry to non-traditional audiences and influencing musicians and comedians.” Upon receipt of the Doctorate, Mr Cooper Clarke stated “now I’m a doctor, finally my dream of opening a cosmetic surgery business can become a reality.”


In recognition of his efforts as The Bard Of Salford John is honoured to be receiving The Freedom of the City of Salford in July 2023. His sense of humour resounds throughout his career, and his latest live show is a mix of classic verse, new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, good honest gags, riffs and chat.

In 2024 John will be celebrating his 75th birthday with a new live  tour of the UK’s major cities including a show at the London Palladium as well as at the Lowry Theatre in his native Salford. It’s a chance to see one of the world’s most important and entertaining spoken word artists at his bold and brilliant best.


“One of Britain’s outstanding poets”

– Sir Paul McCartney

Fantastically entertaining. As a writer of comic prose Clarke is the match of anyone alive, and his turns of phrase are as sharp as his suits”

The Times

“An immensely entertaining memoir that fizzes with wit…It’s impossible not to hear him read every word aloud in your head with that unforgettable Manc drawl” 



-The Observer

Suitable for all ages. Under 14s should be accompanied by an adult (18+)

Booking information

Please note that Booking Fees apply on the following transactions:

Online: Tickets booked online are subject to booking fees when purchased through our website. E-tickets for print at at home are emailed instantly on the account you have registered with DLWP and are free of charge. They can also be downloaded from our website within My Account.

Telephone: £3.50 per transaction + £2 postage or free collection at the Box Office.

In Person: There are currently no charges for booking tickets in person.

There is a £2 charge to post tickets.

We strongly recommend ticket buyers to take out Ticket Protection insurance with Secure My Booking available when you book your tickets at check out.


Please note that we are only able to post tickets within the UK. If you live overseas please select box office collection or print at home tickets. Tickets purchased for post will be sent 10 – 14 days before the show date.

Full terms and conditions can be found here.

Eat before the show

Book online: Pre-show dining can be booked online as an add-on when purchasing tickets for selected events. You will be purchasing a ticket to guarantee your meal before the show.
Please note you must be a ticket holder to the show to book pre-show dining.

Already booked your tickets? If you’ve already booked tickets for a show and would like to add dining, please contact Box Office: boxoffice@dlwp.com

On the night: If you have pre-booked please come to the bar to order from the gig menu and sit at one of the reserved tables.

No re-entry

Please be aware that we operate no re-entry for gigs. This means that once you have entered the building, you cannot go out and re-enter. This policy is in line with other major music venues across the UK and put in place on police advice. No re-entry is clearly signposted as you come through security on the front door.
There is a fenced-off area on the terrace for people who go out to smoke or vape.

Staying locally

There are plenty of welcoming and good value B&Bs & boutique hotels in Bexhill. The De La Warr Pavilion regularly uses the following:

Travel information
  • By Rail
    Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
    There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
    Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up-to-date train travel information.
  • Taxis
    Town Taxis:  01424 211 511
    Parkhurst Taxis:  01424 733 456
  • By Car
    If driving from the London area:
    Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
    Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
    From the Brighton area:
    Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
  • Parking
    Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 7pm. After this time parking is free.

Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.

Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.

Please contact the Box Office on boxoffice@dlwp.com to arrange a visit.

Facilities for disabled visitors

  • Ramped access at the front of the building
  • A low counter at the Box Office and  Information Desk
  • Disabled toilets on two floors
  • A lift to all floors
  • Accessible galleries on both floors
  • An accessible Café
  • Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
  • Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
  • Ramped access into the Studio
  • Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.

Facilities for blind or visually-impaired

  • Large print season brochures

Facilities for the hard-of-hearing

  • An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
  • British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.