Monday, 11 August 2014


Darkness. Music fades up: it's Urine Gagarin (on Korovox sound). The volume is pushed higher and higher, until the lights come up, full, in an instant.

The set is a radio studio. A single figure in a long, hooded, black coat sits at the panel. He is holding a large black bull on a chain, with a sword in his right hand. 

At his feet is a bucket. He stands and swiftly dispatching the bull with a cut to the throat. It begins to bleed, and he positions the bull over the bucket, filling it with blood. When it is full, he throws the bull to the floor and tips the bucket onto the recording panel.

Several ghosts appear, attracted by the blood. The figure waves his sword at them, forcing them away. Finally, THE GHOST OF PLATO appears. He is welcomed by the figure, who turns down the music.

THE CRITIC: Welcome to the Vile Arts Radio Hour. I'm delighted to say my next guest has arrived and, in my usual style, ask him to introduce himself.

PLATO: (with a mouthful of blood) I am the Great philosopher Plato, former wrestler and playwright and now disembodied spirit and symbol of traditional philosophy. I managed to get some of my books published - I guess The Republic is the one everyone knows, and mess about in politics without getting executed and why have you called me from peace beyond the grave, exactly?

THE CRITIC: We are coming up to the Edinburgh Fringe and I wanted to ask you about theatre.

PLATO: Frankly, I have said everything I need on that matter.As an art form, theatre is based on deceit. It is a copy from life, which is itself a copy of the True Form, as is so very far from God. We end up believing in the performance, and it detaches us from the Real. 

THE CRITIC: I thought you were joking.

PLATO: Aristotle didn't, and launched theatre criticism to disprove my point. You ought to drag him back from his eternal rest.

THE CRITIC: So, you think theatre is just lies?

PLATO: Good lies, well made. But that just makes it worse. I'll watch it, as long as I can kick them out of the state when they have finished. 

THE CRITIC: A symbolic action to show how your ideal state has no place for falsehood?

PLATO: No. I just don't like their attitude.

THE CRITIC: We'll be right back after this next number.

THE CRITIC puts on a new track: OKISHIMA ISLAND TOURIST ASSOCIATION's Lord of the New Purse. After a moment, it is faded down for the off-air conversation.

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