Show 2: Community Minded
Our second show ‘Community Minded’ took place at The Cluntergate Centre in Horbury as part of Wakefield Lit Fest 2017.
Upon arrival, the audience were split. Half visited our special guest for the day; the new Minister for Culture, Ethics and Heritage who laid out her vision for a future where Art pays it’s way and artists who are contributing to society will be rewarded and supported. The other half of the audience visited an exhibition of recently decommissioned artworks, cited by The Minister as examples of extravagant works by deviant artists and evidence of why Art needed to change. These pieces included audio guides as the audience considered their artistic worth.
Once the audience had switched spaces they all returned to the main room to view ‘Community Minded’, the new piece from Cuckoo’s Egg that had been commissioned by the ministry of an example of what true Northern Art should be. The three core members of Cuckoo’s Egg took to the stage to deliver a broad northern comedy, only to be interrupted by 4 young students on the run from the ministry’s ‘Patrol’, monitoring the artistic work going on in the area. Ultimately, Cuckoo’s Egg step in between patrol and the young people, building a human shield with the audience and denouncing their commissioned play as rubbish.
The patrol, outnumbered, reluctantly leaves. But as the promotional material for the government’s ‘Artist Registration Programme’ littered around the venue suggests, things are only going to get worse.
Review from Sarah Cobham:
“That Sunday demonstrated just how talented the drama collective Cuckoos Egg is. Their piece was interactive and immersive, in that the audience was invited to attend an official press conference outlining the reasons why culture and art could only now be accepted if it were set within the framework of being economically profitable and that all other types of ‘art’ had been de commissioned. (Including songs by Robbie Williams) Art for art’s sake had become unpopular and indeed, something to be laughed at and ridiculed. The piece slipped in and out of different scenarios and took a dark turn when it turned out that the young people ( beautifully acted by younger members of the cast) were being persecuted by what can only be described as an ‘arts hunter’ for being creative. The whole piece was challenging, thought provoking and clever. For me, this was the highlight of this year’s Festival. It was inter-generational, tackled diverse and relevant topics and showcased an incredibly talented group of writers, artists, actors and social commentators.”