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An End to Desperation

Posted Posted by Kate Morrison in Work in Progress     Comments Comments Off on An End to Desperation

It’s time to put an end to desperation.

In 2020, we will mark forty years of Desperate Men. Too many people live in quiet desperation and Desperate Men have been reflecting this in their work for nearly four decades, but now it’s time to turn the tide.

Since the company was formed in 1980, our work has expanded like the universe after the Big Bang.

We started with Jon and Richie’s two-man show, using the absurd, the surreal, smashed eggs and exploding tomatoes to explore the possibilities of live art.

Now our projects encompass huge events like the Wye Valley River Festival, which engages communities along 45 miles of the River Wye, incorporates 1000s of performers and attracts audiences of over 30,000 people. We are ‘elder statesmen’ of outdoor arts, working with new and emerging artists to help them shape their own explorations of performance. Collaboration is key to our creations.

But although the scope of our work has changed, the core of it – the B of the Bang – remains the same. We invite people to play. That play sparks laughter, reflection, horror, tears, confusion, love, anger and ACTION.

To celebrate 40 years of this kinetic energy, we plan to collaboratively produce a series of shows around the theme of an End to Desperation. A full year of optimistic, positive, constructive, and affirmative events. Inclusive, collective ideas for a future free of desperation.

We want to envision a better world free of despair. A future that safeguards our children from climate change, to realise the greatest potential of humanity, humanism, and the planet. We will be inviting people to experiment with their own capacity for action and positive change.

So Desperate Men say – A bas les désespérés. People without hope rise up! You have nothing to lose but your desperation!

Watch this space for updates and notes on future direction.

How does the universe end …?


Posted Posted by Kate Morrison in Work in Progress     Comments Comments Off on Departure

As Desperate Men approach the 40th year of our creative endeavours in 2020, it’s time to reflect and project. Bouncing on the springboard of the last four decades, the absurdities and upheavals of 40 years of cultural, social, environmental and political change this show will ask how on earth did humanity get here, and where are we heading?

We will use ‘The Four Seasons’ as a starting point – four acts, four flavours, four perspectives, four performers – and work out where we are in the cycle. Is it spring or winter?

We’ll be asking what significant events have shaped our times, both personally and globally? Is there a feasible future to build and share? What can we hope for? We’ll walk a tightrope between the fun and frolicsome and the dark and mysterious.

We also plan to explore aspects of our SOuvenir Walk, created for the 2018 SO festival. This partly grew from the concept of the ‘democratic performative’ – where any audience are active participants in affecting the direction, outcome and content of the work. Where does the audience want to take US? We know the departing point, but where are we going to end up?

We’re delighted that the research and development for our new show Departure will be supported by Blueprint: Without Walls R&D investment fund. Blueprint is Without Walls’ new investment stream that gives artists the opportunity to explore bold, provocative ideas for new outdoor work at the very early stages, with the aim of them growing into touring shows in future years.

The R&D for Departure is supported by Blueprint: Without Walls R&D investment fund


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