Liz McWhirter first book release is an echo of one of my all time favourite books. A garden that opens at midnight to a child, into into an alternative reality : such is"Tom's Midnight Garden" by P.Pearce. What is remarkable in Liz's book is the ecological outlook on history. Also like "Secret Garden", by Frances Burnett. The concept of what is past not being lost echoes Eliot's Time Past in Time Future. If we believe like Plato that we are innately moral, or Kantian imperative then we are bound to our deeds. The childlike wish that our best wishes are rainbows or a moonbow is one I would like to hold on! Who hasn't felt the sensation that what we leave uncompleted still fills part of our psyche? We are a protected ecosystem and the more we reach back within, the closer we are to finding our true selves!
In July, Morpheus Under Ground performed the preview of new play Little Sisters. The play addresses issues of displacement and homelessness through the eyes of two young women trapped within the confines of a reality TV show house. Audiences remarked on the dignity, grace and beauty of the characters in the play and the darker aspects resonated and drew comments such as "The more I think about this play the more scary some of the ideas become. The idea that you can be voted out onto the street by people you have never seen is a concept that is truly Orwellian"
Peter Jonas, winner of the 2013 London Peace Prize, contemplates the inner workings of society and its harmful influence on individuals, going back to his roots in Cape Town, where he was already helping street kids, by encouraging them to make murals in the ugly landscapes they had til then inhabited. His artistic work, since arriving in London continues to explore identity, as a half South African, with Dutch ancestors too. He has protested as an individual with a foot in both camps. His work also explores how the mechanical world and that of nature collide, with memorable images of South African traditional dress, to his Gandhi portrait or Cliff Richard who autographed the work.
As the eldest granddaughter of Sir Larry Olivier, artist, Isis Olivier, grew up with a sober view of celebrity. 'He was the same in life as when on film'. This attitude has helped her to develop, first as an aid worker in the Sudan, later as an artist who, as a feminist, has shaped her own platform and views.
David Low creator of infamous Colonel Blimp is most keenly remembered as a plump bald-headed figure with a walrus moustache, decked out in a plethora of decorations from ancient wars, spouting platitudinous and preposterous commentary on the politics of the day, such as: “Gad Sir, Churchill made an irrevocable decision to be guided by circumstances with a firm hand”. Low insisted that his Blimp was genuine and that he had overheard him in a Turkish bath, dressed in the altogether, pronouncing that what Japan did was no concern of Britain’s.
Children of Damascus, a poem by Rupert Ferguson, written in response to the chemical attack on Ghouta
An excerpt Charlie Wiseman's autobiographical story of working, in theatre with disadvantaged. Wiseman has spent much of his life travelling the world working, first with www.grassmarketproject.org on innovative projects, involving real people often from the street, to portray what is going on below the surface of society, later on his own intiative.
'Charlie's work for the Grassmarket Project enabled it to develop around Europe and further, first by being at the centre of the wheel when it involved People's Stage, Berlin. There he used his language skill to find a staggering £50,000 budget for the most enlightened play in their history, involving homeless from the streets where Liza Minelli's Cabaret is set. Our work has run parallet, innovating and changing forms' Jeremy Weller, Artistic Director Grassmarket Project
This award was set up by Charles Wiseman in 2011 in response to the London riots. As Charlie says he set up the award "to bring to people’s attention the individuals whose work is making changes in their community, whose work is about building neighbourliness, understanding and positive activities. Positive action is the only way to heal and bring about “Peace”.
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