The momentum grows. Together a difference can be made.
Jeremy Farquar the twisted butler in “The Fool, the cow and the art of corruption”.
Two weeks ago I wrote a blog about political street theatre; observing that in fact audiences do not leave when a piece of performance bites into a serious issue. http://passion4laughter.com/?page_id=9
This blog is an update on the growing momentum of that political show, Jeremy Farquar the twisted butler in “The Fool, the cow and the art of corruption”. http://passion4laughter.com/?page_id=67
Over the past 6 months I have been on tour in Australia performing Jeremy Farquar the twisted butler; plus Joseph D’Amour Bouffon, the lonely clown.
At the end of the Jeremy Farquar show I now invite the audience to come forward and take a piece of paper with my email address. Asking them to contact me to get the words to write to their MP registering their disgust at the World Arms Trade. During the Australian tour 14 people have contacted me and written to their MPs. I am hoping there are others who have written with their own words, without contacting me.
Step by step I am building a database of these people who have written to me. The future plan is to hook them all up with one another. Together we can get up to some more co-ordinated activism. Please, if you are reading this and this idea interests you… drop me a line and let me know. I will contact you again in the future with some ideas for action against the World Arms Trade. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Joe, i saw your show during the day in the village at Falls festival and just wanted to say how moved i was. As the show went on i began to get the jist of where you were heading and when it peaked as you balanced and the bubbles filled the air i felt something in the air the i have only felt a very small number of times. I think what you’re doing is truly amazing and i just wanted to thank you personally for giving me and my friends that experience and actively contributing to bettering our troubled world. My warmest regards, Levi Dowsett
~Levi Dowsett, Parramatta, NSW, Australia”
This response has been heart warming. We have even had replies from the MPs already. They assured us that Australia is active in the international community pushing for regulation of the Arms Trade. That is good to hear. Also good is to have dialogues with our MPs so we can regularly ask the question again. Keep them on their toes. Remind them this is an issue close to their constituents’ hearts. We need to push our MPs to push the international community to push the USA and Russia, in particular, to change their policies.
Also heart warming is the response from Street Arts Festivals. When I started creating this show I wondered if audiences would leave when it became confronting and uncomfortable. I have been pleased to see they stay. Also when creating it I wondered if Arts bookers would take the risk and programme a piece with such a theme!
Durham Streets Festival was the first European festival to take that risk in August 2012. Thank you to them for being the first. They took a risk, and I am pleased to say it paid off. The response was brilliant. One audience member hugged me and thanked me for making her cry. Another man had watched all the shows by the various artists, and he thanked me for the best show of the day… something he could get his teeth into. I know the programmer breathed a sigh of relief when he heard that feedback! So much so that he was happy to say the show was
“Probably the most important show ever to have played at our festival!” Steve Cousins, programmer, Durham Streets festival.
I have recently completed a rewrite, with some in verse, plus new breath taking and meaningful tricks, and additions to the sound track. Exciting improvements.
And now the European season’s bookings are taking shape. Mr Farquar has been booked for Ireland and for Switzerland. Both very exciting.
Bookings in Ireland. Very excited by this as Ireland is one of the beacons of hope for the world. They have put down their weapons and engaged in a dialogue of peace. People who were sworn enemies in the past, now discuss and solve problems together as members of parliament.
I mention Ireland within the show. It will be amazing to be performing those lines directly to Irish citizens in Ireland itself.
Come and check it out if you are nearby. June 1st and 2nd at the Greystones Arts Festival in County Wicklow, Ireland.
Bookings in Switzerland too. This is very exciting as Switzerland is mentioned in the show. As an example of a country that truly has a defence force. A force that will not set foot on the soil of another country, but which is ready to defend if any other country sets foot on Swiss soil.
I find it difficult to swallow that the UK has a Ministry of Defence. By definition defence is against aggression. I find it very difficult to accept that we should be militarily present in other countries when we are not invited there as a liberation force. If we have not been invited there, it follows that we are in fact an invasion force, not a defence force. An invasion force with another agenda.
So to perform those lines to a Swiss crowd will be very interesting too. Come and watch at the Sion Festival des Arts de la Rue, June 7th and 8th.
Also in the pipeline are BoomTown Fair and Eastern Electric. Both these festivals are in August in the UK.
Thence the plan is to take to the streets of Edinburgh again to continue spreading the word. After that is still fluid.
If you are, or know, a programmer for an Arts Festival, please take the risk and book this important and inspirational show.
If you are, or know, an artist who is wondering whether they should try out something challenging, please encourage them to do so.
Thanks for reading. Please get in touch and let me know what you think. Joe@passion4laughter.com.