Free Money Magic Show, Edinburgh 2013
A DVD of the full show is available. Contact me for details.
Karl Marx sings: Black Box, Belfast.
Recorded for the "Out to Lunch Festival" January 2011
Performed as an encore after a long set. Sorry the lip control is not very good, but I really had been ill...
An introduction to socialist magic...
Recorded at Exeter University, Devon, May 2006.
(There is a topical reference which might need explaining - at this time the lecturers' union was in dispute with the Universities' authority, and taking industrial action which involved refusing to carry out any grading or assessment of students' work)
On Your Marx (A Historical Document)
A short film made in 1985. I was performing a lot at that time (particularly at benefits for striking miners), and noticed that many of the people I was working alongside were beginning to get their own slots on television, particularly the relatively new Channel 4. I quite fancied the idea of getting to a mass audience, in some sort of Gramscian way. Apparently, the way you got your own tv series was to make a film, and show it to the people at Channel 4.
My friend Alan Tobe, who was an English teacher in the CND group I belonged to, had a friend called Paul Jackson, with whom he had been at school. Paul was a dynamic sort of bloke, who wanted to get into television production. He had access to some video equipment: fairly high grade stuff at that time. We agreed that we would make a film as a promotional thing for me, but rather than just show bits of my act, we fancied making it a bit self-referential and modernist. We devised the plot as we went along. I think it was my idea to have me interview myself on video, and it was quite a difficult thing to do with the primitive (by today's standards) equipment available. Anyway, we were pretty pleased with the result. It made us laugh quite a lot. Actually we laughed a lot while making it. We had to shoot the doorstepping jacket scene about a dozen times, because every time Alan opened the door he looked at me and burst out laughing. If you are aware of that, you can see the strain on his face in the final take, as he tries to control his reactions.
We sent the film round to lots of places, and mostly they ignored it. Some bloke in channel 4 (I think his name was Bolland) said it was self-indulgent, lots of people didn't reply. Some company that was advertising in the Stage lost one of our few tapes, though they said they liked it. Somebody managed to show it to the American documentary maker D A Pennebaker, who said something hyperbolically complimentary about it, but he wasn't in the business of commissioning comedy films. I was pleased about that, as his Dylan film "Don't Look Back" was one of my favourites. But I don't kid myself that he would remember anything about it now. Eventually we gave up sending it out, and I resigned myself to non-stardom.
It's always a little sad for me, watching the film, because Alan died about a year later from Marfans syndrome, a congenital disease which he knew about, but we didn't. He was only 31.
Thanks to Paul Jackson for allowing this to see the light of day once again. Paul now does training for businesses using improvisation methods. His website is here.