That understated opening sentence from 1984 sounds so ordinary; so matter of fact… but then it sneaks up on you with a jarring wrongness that sets the tone for Orwell’s dystopia. That sense of history’s breaking point ticking closer and closer; of things falling apart, permeates Hugo Farmer’s new work… The ‘megaphone-head’ bronzes so prominent in earlier shows are making a comeback, albeit with some provocative new characters – including a Queen dubbing a new Knight with a baseball bat as he ‘takes the knee’ and a boy meddling dangerously with a box of matches. These are voices of protest, designed to disturb and therefore destined for a run-in with the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, about which John F. Kennedy could have been talking when he said,
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”
For all that, The Thirteenth Stroke isn’t downhearted or despairing. It’s a call to arms. There’s no doubt we’re in a time of deceit – and if, as Orwell says, that makes telling the truth a revolutionary act, Hugo Farmer’s a revolutionary. What’s more, as Hugo himself has often said, if history’s made by those brave enough to speak out, rule breakers are history makers – and Hugo’s definitely one of those as well.
22 April – 16 May 2021
17 Marlow Workshops
Arnold Circus, Shoreditch,
London E2 7JN
Hugo Farmer is available for interview.
For press contact: Kate McQuaid Email: email@example.com / +44(0)7432 547 446
To book an appointment contact: Kevin Martin Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
17 MARLOW WORKSHOPS, ARNOLD CIRCUS