Thatcher May Trump Farage, Lord & Slater
Threshold Festival 2017, The Baltic Social, 31st March
Part of ArtinLiverpool.com’s Visiting Writer programme
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In the week that Article 50 was signed by our Prime Minister, Threshold Festival 2017 debuted a new live art work by Lord & Slater entitled Thatcher May Trump Farage.
This year the theme of the festival was Light & Dark, which seems to encapsulate the political climate we are in with cuts to funding of the arts (Threshold this year had a crowdfunding campaign to keep the Liverpool grassroots festival living and breathing) and a political and comedic live art work that parodies all of the top leaders was a response by Lord & Slater in how they feel we have the most questionable leaders in recent times. I mean, an orange faced man with a floppy pussycat strapped to his head representing Trump screams raw live art for the people.
Unlike last year the Lantern Theatre has now closed, so Threshold curators spread the performance works throughout the music venues. At The Baltic Social, the performance featuring Matthew Harrison-Lord, Josh Slater, Debra Deakin, Ellie Russell and Richard Wiseman were playing to the audiences fix for something funny, and this performance was never ending cheap gags and humour – perfect for our beloved Threshold Festival.
The fast paced troop of performers lead us on a debate between May and Trump regarding Brexit: organismic May who was in then out then in then out; and then the Wall for Mexico with Donald commending the Brits for their use of a big moat around the UK instead of a wall.
A stooge in the audience, who turned out to be Margaret Thatcher who traversed the audience with milk and raging about being the greatest Iron Lady, prompting the audience to become enraged and heckle with enjoyment.
Standing in the audience which filled the Baltic Social with a joined love and hate, light and dark, I became intrigued with the collective. I had seen them promenading the festival all evening before their show, but afterwards when I wanted to ask about their workings and process they remained in character. So I can only assume that they live their art and art is their lives, or that they have a fetish for cat toys, or badly fitting bald caps.
With Farage drunkenly falling into the audience and heckling with the host, Lord & Slater managed to bring a profound message that grassroots, the arts, and collectives must go out and provide a brighter society because there’s the possibility that Trump, May and Putin are only interested in photo opportunities and making love with each other: perhaps that last bit was artistic licence on Lord & Slater’s part.
Once again at Threshold we are seeing unique and exciting new interpretations of their theme: Light and Dark. Through visual and live art showing the contrasts in politics, art, and what performance definitions are. Thatcher May Trump Farage presented an a satirical insight into who our current leaders are, oh and I forgot to mention, seeing Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May dance to Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani was the icing on the cake to prove that right now, in the week May signed for the start of Brexit, life is b.a.n.a.n.a.s.