I was really privileged to be invited to take part in What Next for the Arts? - an afternoon symposium which was part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival - on 12th May 2018. As I like to do whenever I get the chance nowadays, I performed the piece with accompanying film and audio. This is the transcript... A test recording of the film will be uploaded soon...Read More
This blog post is a first draft of a spoken word performance script as yet unperformed. It is inspired by a ludicrous reference in this blog about the ludicrous forced adoption of Quality Metrics by Arts Council England. Simon Mellor is their Executive Director. He makes rather odd reference to Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party (1957), a play that is, of course, all about the killing of individuality, of an individual at the hands of Kafkaesque state conformity; about conformist brainwashing and execution. The agents of the state in The Birthday Party are McCann and Goldberg. I imagine a conversation between these two agents of the "hard" state and Simon (Mellor), a representative of culture, or state "soft" power. Webber (also referred to as Stanley) is the unfortunate recipient of an incessant barrage of state-sanctioned pressure to comply, to conform. Petey is an old man: quiet but also considerate.
All words are quotes from either Simon Mellor's blog or from he Birthday Party script.
The performance would be interspersed with propaganda images from Arts Council England's website...Read More