I’ve been trying to think of all the political theatre I’ve seen. Maybe I should re-phrase that. I’ve been trying to think of all the theatre about politics I’ve seen. So far I’ve got 2nd May 1997, which was particularly memorable for Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s incredible nipples; Posh, which stood out for its a capella rendition of Wiley’s Wearing My Rolex; and Hitch by Kieran Hurley, which I saw just a couple of days ago and which will stick in my mind because I have since added Glaswegian to my list of favourite sexy accents.
I haven’t seen anything by Belarus Free Theatre. In fact, until I heard that their King Lear featured cocks aplenty, I didn’t really want to. A while ago there was a whole load of bleating about how “endangered” they were, with Gandalf running some kind of charity night and everyone in theatre suddenly googling Belarus because we’d all just thought it was some Polish town or something till then. No-one said anything about whether or not their work was any good.
I went to see Hitch on Friday because at least three people had told me to JUST FUCKING SEE IT in the same way I’ve been telling people to JUST FUCKING SEE Three Kingdoms all week. I never would have bought a ticket if it wasn’t for these people because a one-man show about hitch-hiking to a protest sounds like the very worst kind of pious student do-gooding. In the end, it was good. It wasn’t too preachy, it built up nicely with music and film and stuff, and, like I said earlier, Kieran Hurley has a sexy voice. It was by no means a perfect show though.
I consider myself somewhere around 60-70% in the politically-aware spectrum. I prefer watching the news to Jeremy Kyle. I don’t like the Tories, or even the LibDems much anymore, and I want Rebekah Brooks and Rupert Murdoch to suffer the very worst kind of humiliating dethronement once the Leveson Inquiry is done. I wish the government would invest more in the public sector, and acknowledge the intrinsic value of an arts and humanities education by subsidising people like me. But I also know that if I was really rich I’d try to pay as little tax as possible.
When I go to the theatre I don’t want to see heavy shit about genocide and torture. I don’t really want to see stuff that paints protest as this idealistic wonderland where we can all embrace generosity and humanity and we can overthrow the bad guys with rainbows and bunny rabbits and the boundless fraternal love we have for all our new friends. I mainly just want jokes and cocks. Sorry.
But then I saw Alistair Campbell wind Adam Boulton up on Sky News this afternoon and I realised it was because I hadn’t seen any Tory supporters completely lose their shit for a while. Boulton sounded like my old bastard grandfather that time when he said calculators had no purpose over and over again, except Boulton looks more like Danny DeVito as The Penguin. Best bit was when Campbell was all like “calm down, calm down” and Boulton’s hands were waving all over the screen like he was going to push him off the broadcast platform thingy.
I’m hoping my transcription of the altercation will get me through any exam question on managing conflict in the cultural sector.
You can watch it here: http://tvnewsroom.co.uk/news/adam-boulton-vs-alastair-campbell/
And read what Marina Hyde says about it here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/10/election-adam-boulton-alastair-campbell
Politics hasn’t been this exciting since that time John Prescott got in a fight.
No, that other time John Prescott got in a fight.
(Oh yeah, and the Prime Minister’s resigned.)
Gordon Brown’s best period was undoubtedly the world financial crisis. Nobody had any idea that was coming. And many people still have no idea just how close we’d got to our major banks literally going bust in 2008. Cashpoints would not have worked, chequebooks would have been valueless, mums would not have been able to feed their kids. I talked to a hedge fund manager afterwards. He told me he got so scared that he’d gone out at the weekend - he lives in Sussex - and he’d bought a flock of sheep from the local farmer. He thought that might be the only way to feed his family. The public order implications of that are staggering. Brown and Darling had to deal with all of that by the seat of their pants and hide it from the public at the same time. Can you imagine the terror if suddenly money to all intents and purposes ceased to exist? They were literally pulling stuff off the internet, they were scrambling this stuff up as they went along, and actually they came up with a pretty good plan. Not a perfect one, but it meant that the banks could open their doors on the Monday.I’m a LibDemmer at heart, especially now that they say they’ll divert cash from the roads to the railways, but this was a really striking quote from the Andrew Rawnsley interview in The Word this month. I mean, can you imagine?
Frankly, if anyone in the arts world votes Tory this year, they might as well post themselves their own redundancy notice on the same day.Aleks Sierz.