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Who do we now trust to tell us the truth?

10 Jul

This last two weeks have been quite extraordinary. I have read a quote allegedly by Lenin from almost 100 years ago

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen” – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

This is what it feels like has happened in the last fortnight. Where not only has something seismic happened that will alter the course of our historical trajectory, but the mainstream parties have all but seemed to implode.

Watching the unfurling of behaviour of so called allies and party colleagues on both sides has been truly staggering. Backstabbing, double crossing, in fighting, one-upmanship and all of it seemingly self serving and careerist.

In the meantime we have a political vacuum, which is being filled with a rise in noisy hate speech and crimes and terms like ‘suck it up sad losers’

So who do we trust now? some newspapers and media outlets? After some truly shocking partisan antics and fuelling of hate speech?

I think not.

The politicians? who are now squabbling over internal fights for leadership – whilst the pound plummets to a lower point than 1985, and the rest of the world looks on in disbelief.

I don’t think so.

So who will hold the mirror up and speak rationally about where we are and what this means? Who do we trust to tell us the truth?

I have spent the last week with artists, and theatremakers from across the country, and this has echoed out from all sides. We all need to listen to those who have not been heard. Those whose voices have been lost, and those who have felt ignored and left out.

As the Westminster bubble focuses inwardly on itself, we need to look outwards, across the country, and to work collectively. Maybe this does need artists to help us to listen, to reflect and to rebuild.

We need to not keep spouting the half truths from newspapers, rhetoric, and division, but to tell our own truths and to listen to people’s own truths too.

It is what makes us human, and we all know there is more that connects us than divides us. The future story of this country is in all of our hands. It is our turn to shape that story and to build our future that is not about division, but about tolerance, acceptance and understanding.

It is about being truthful…

 

BBFC Certificate 15 for ‘The Knife That Killed Me’ #TKTKM (very strong language, strong sex references, strong violence, drug use)

30 Aug

photo

BBFC film description and certification here

BBFCINSIGHT very strong language, strong sex references, strong violence, drug use

GENRE(S) Drama

DIRECTOR(S) Marcus Romer,Kit Monkman

CAST INCLUDES Jack McMullen,  Reece Dinsdale,  Jamie Shelton,  Oliver Lee,  Haruka Abe

SUMMARY THE KNIFE THAT KILLED ME is a British drama about teenage gang conflict and the pressures faced by a young man starting at a new school.

CUT All known versions of this work passed uncut.

Here you go – all the strong words in the film in one clump – passed uncut

BLOODY, SH*T, F*CKED UP, CHRIST ALMIGHTY, CR*P, F*CKING, C*CK, W*NKER, SH*T, MEATHEAD GOBSH*TES, C*CK, P*SS, W*NKER, T*SSER, SL*G, W*NKER, LOSER, PAUL FARTERMAN, FILTHY DOG, SH*T, FILTHY DOG, YOU’RE DEAD, RED SCUM, MAKE IM SH*T IMSEN, RED SCUM, B*TTY BOY, MORON, MENTALIST, OLD B*TCH, *RSEWIPE, LITTLE P*FF, CRETIN, SH*T, WEASLY LITTLE TW*T, APE MAN, P*SSY, TW*T, F*CK, SH*T, WHAT THE HELL, B*TTY B*TTY BOY, BLOODY MORON, P*SSY, F*CK OFF, B*TCH, APESH*T, B*LL*CKS, GUT ROT, COKE HEAD, FOR GOD’S SAKE, SUCKS C*CK, SUCKS C*CK, W*NKER, SH*T, KICKED THE SH*T OUT OF ME, FINGER UP HIS *RSE, DOG SH*GGERS, T*SSER, I COULDN’T GIVE A SH*T, D*CK, D*CKHEADS, LOSER, LANKY TW*AT, CHIEF B*MMER, FEISTY B*TCH, B*TCH, CROGGY DOG, THICK TW*T, CHICKEN SH*T, DOG SN*GGER, DOG D*CK SUCKER, SH*T STICKS, WHINY LITTLE SH*T, HE SH*T HIMSELF, SH*T STAINED DAD, CHICKEN SH*T DAD, GUTS ROTTING, YOU LIKE SUCKING YOUR DAD’S C*CK, BAST*RDS, SH*TTING TW*TTING C*CKING AR*EHOLE BAST*RDS,, PSYCHO TW*T, F*CKING STICK IT, SH*T WORK, STINKING F*CKING HANDS, WA*KER, SH*T, SH*GGING, TW*T, SH*T SH*T SH*T, SH*T, P*SSING RAIN, F*CKING SH*T, SHUT THE F*CK UP, SH*T OFF, LOAD OF CR*P, WHAT SH*TTING DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE, F*CKING, I HEARD YOU SH*T YOURSELF, F*CKING, PATHETIC TW*T, BAS*TRD, F*CK, F*CKING C*NT, LITTLE SH*TE, F*CKING DEAD, P*SSIES, SH*T EMSELVES, PR*CK, BLEEDING CHRISTMAS, CHICKEN SH*TS, P**FS, SL*T, DIRTY WH*RE, B*TCH, SPINELESS W*NKER, SL*G, SH*T, B*LLOCKS, TAKING THE P*SS, YOU’RE TOO FAT TO BE A FREAK, P*SS OFF, SH*T, P*SS OFF, TRACK RATS, APE MAN, C*CK LOVER, YOU DON’T F*CKING GET IT, PATHETIC W*NKER, LOAD OF SH*T, PATHETIC *RSEHOLE BULLY, W*NKER, B*STARDS, SH*T, TOO F*CKING LATE, F*CKING ANIMAL, CHRIST.

So your chain comes off your bike? What of it…

14 Aug

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Cycling back from Porto to Lavadores, I got separated from the main group. Well my chain kept coming off, and as my hands were getting more and more oily, the others kind of got bored of waiting for me. So I turned my misfortune into a major opportunity.

Deciding thatI needed to wash my hands I pulled my limping bicycle to a lamp post – chained it up and told it in no uncertain terms that I was severely disappointed in its behaviour. I headed to a local bar in Afurada to wash my hands. When I returned not only had my bike been mended, but a local fisherman called Antonio had poured a glass of wine and in broken French, Spanish and Portuguese he told me he had sorted it and would I like to join him and his family for lunch.

Needless to say I joined them, and their hospitality, conversation and company made this a life affirming experience.

He had lived in the house all his life and went out for 18 hours every three days to catch Bream, Sea Bass and Mackerel in the Atlantic. The Dourada (bream) we had on the barbecue was the best I have ever tasted, and for sure the wine and conversation across three languages was amazing and invigorating.

We talked about the cost of living in Europe, football, making theatre, catching fish, bringing up children, and where we would most like to live in the world. I have been invited back with my family for us all to eat in his house.

I felt honoured and humbled by their generosity of spirit

I set off thanking him and Arture for their hospitality and bike mending skills and looked at the view and felt that on days like this it is more than good to be really alive…

Away from home…no email

8 Aug

So, here’s the thing. I really have fallen out of love. With email. Not that I really had any deep affection for it, but we have had words, and basically we are through with each other. For the sake of keeping things together we have agreed certain access rights. These are about handover times and brief pleasantries.

So for ten minute a day. And no longer, we have agreed to make a mutual visit. This means that we are both free to pursue our other interests and branch out a bit doing our own thing each day. But for the sake of others we have agreed this ten minute slot once a day from 7pm to 7.10pm

This is a trial separation and it is working well. Now don’t get me wrong I still get other ‘e’ messages but not email during the day. So SMS, DM, Skype, Voicemail, FB messages and Dropbox notifications. So still in contact and with those messages that are important to our relationship.

So e messages, yes e mail no.

anyone else in with me on this?

Off to do some writing and thinking and not checking emails – see you later – so just DM me or SMS if you need me

ta

M

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Fairground Attraction – ‘Try the Guns…?’ #blogpost

30 Jun

Try The Guns

‘Try the Guns’ the – sign said…I was cycling passed the Green in Histon today and I noticed it had changed. This struck me, not just as an odd thing to say, or to write on a sign, but more that it immediately transported me back to a time where I once fired an automatic machine gun into blanket between 2 lamp posts in Albania, as part of a fairground activity – but that comes later. So as you can see I have always had a real attraction to fairgrounds, especially the deserted places and spaces long forgotten and unloved. One of my first encounters was the deserted dodgem car shack in Shipley Glen in Yorkshire. Stepping off the rickety funicular railway built originally for Bradfordians to rise to the top of the moor to take the air, the deserted funfair was always a special treat…

scrappynw

The shrouded dodgems and the leaky roof on a misty November morning are really quite something to see. So this is where I started my obsession when we moved to Bradford back in 1996 – and thanks to ScrappyNW on Flickr for this image. So today, in Histon the light was perfect, and I wanted to grab some shots to capture the atmosphere – and to help bring back some of that story that had been lurking there since 1999 – in Albania. Today the Hook a Giant was a new one on me…

Hook A Giant

And the dodgems, whilst active were still great in the temporary structure that only the other day had been hauled off the back of the truck and this of course brought back to me, the story about being in the fairground in Albania…

Histon Dodgems

So back to the story of the ‘try the guns’  it was back in 1999 – we took a show to Albania. The civil war with Kosovo had ended only months before and the UN had only just left. It was a cold October morning and we headed out from the National Theatre in Tirana, where we were performing, for a day out in Durres, which is on the coast and just a mere hop across the sea to Corfu. Here the deserted strip had not seen visitors for some time. The derelict and recently burned out Dodgems was still operational. But with only one car, yes just the one Dodgem. With nothing to dodge. A solitary dodgem. Not really worth going on really. What with having nothing to dodge and all.

So the Dodgem guy said ‘would I like to do something else?’ Wary I smiled and sort of nodded. At this he reached behind his desk and pulled out an automatic weapon. I stopped smiling. But a big grin came over his golden crowned teeth and he pointed to a rough set of army blankets tied between two lamp posts on the sea fronted prom. ‘For you’ he said and handed me the machine gun. He led me over to the front and sure enough told me to shoot the blanket. I shook my head and did a kind of ‘OOH it’s really interesting, but you see I’m just a theatre director and I was just over here – from you know, England…’ kind of look – and then he grabbed the gun, which was still in my hands, and sprayed a deafening roar of automatic rounds into the now dancing blankets.
I nearly messed myself. Loud? yep really bloody loud. I nodded, thanked him and backed away, having handed back the blanket killing machine. And I gave a sort nod which I hope tried to say ‘good luck with your dodgem during the winter season’ and I turned and tailed it and ran like hell.

So you see my obsession with these places is really a matter of life and death to me these days. It’s that simple…

So it was with great delight to get back – alive. So, a few years later on holiday in France, I was to discover this beauty on the Ile d’Oleron – a real tide gone out gem. From 1900. A two seated only Big Wheel…

Big Wheel France

Where the only thing I can imagine as a source of nightmares would be – that I was in one seat and the gold toothed smiling dodgem owner from Durres was in the other and smiling down and telling me to ‘Try the Guns’