I'd thought of re-naming this newsletter THE GLUE FAC when Johnson resigned at the start of the week, thus deleting the TORY part of the title in a gesture of contempt and in the spirit of good-riddance. But the scapegrace cocksure clot didn't resign. He's still leader of the party, and the biddable mediocrities making up the very worst Cabinet in history are still running the country, and by 'running the country' I mean 'running the country into the ground.' Every day that passes sees more irrevocable damage done to the institutions that define our democracy - the civil service, the law, education, the NHS, the BBC, our arts and culture. In the Bullingdon timeline we've now reached the point where the honking braying drunks start to smash up the restaurant. So The Glue Factory remains 'The Glue Factory'. For the time being.
Meanwhile here's the commentator Jonathan Pie who sums things up clearly for all latecomers. A five-minute clip that offers an eloquent take on the Johnson regime. Contains language, as they say. Lots of language.
Let me know if you’d rather not receive this regular update and I’ll happily stop bothering you.
I welcome suggestions from authors, indie publishers, press agents and creative practitioners of all kinds, in any medium, so please email me with anything you’d like to share with our readers in future issues.
And don’t forget that you're also invited to our live online gathering on Sundays at 7:30pm UK time. It's free to join (but donations to The Trussell Trust or your local equivalent outside the UK are appreciated). Details of this week's gathering are in this newsletter and you'll get a unique Zoom link at around 6:30pm. Do join us.
And let’s stick together.
1. Aid for Ukraine
2. This week’s online gathering
3. Indie press news
Massive Overheads Productions
4. J O Morgan in London
5. Observer /Anthony Burgess Prize 2022
6. Elizabeth Hilliard & David Bremner live in Dublin - free tickets!
7. Astrid Alben on translation
8. Multiple Joyce - another plug, and new reviews
9. The Women's Poetry Prize 2022
10. Next week's online gathering
1. Aid for Ukraine
It drags on and on, although there's less coverage in our media. Only another spectacualor atrocity seems to make much of an impression as the daily misery and suffering continue unabated.
Please give what you can: the most far-reaching programme is the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. You can donate quickly and easily here.
2. This week's online gathering
The Phil Silvers Show is an American sitcom which ran from 1955 to 1959, starring Phil Silvers as Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko of the United States Army.
Popularly referred to as 'Sergeant Bilko', the show is widely-regarded as the greatest television comedy ever produced, and that’s down to scripts and casting, to producer Nat Hiken’s visionary genius and above all to Silvers as Bilko, the role he was born to play. Bilko is among the best comic creations of all time, an equal to Falstaff and Don Quixote: brash, conniving and sentimental, a sharp-witted shyster obsessed with gambling and making a quick buck.
Private Doberman (right) has a moment
This week’s Glue Factory is dedicated to Phil Silvers and all those who worked with him on the show. It’s curated by Steve Everitt, founder of The Phil Silvers Museum in Coventry. Our very special guest is Tracey Silvers, Phil's daughter, who will join us live from her home in Los Angeles.
If you've never seen the show or if (like me) you're a diehard fan, do join Ernie and the platoon in the Fort Baxter Motor Pool for a night to remember.
3. Indie press news
Bluemoose Books, the Yorkshire-based indie press, this week shared this review of the French translation of Ronán Hession's second novel Panenka.
It appears in the French online literary journal Caviar. 'Plus qu’une histoire de football, Panenka, est l’histoire d’une rédemption [...] Le roman est porté par le talent de l’auteur dublinois, reconnu pour son style direct et une écriture pétrie de sensibilité.'
Canterbury-based Héloïse Press is run by by Aina Marti. Some of you will remember her hosting a Glue Factory feature introducing her press's first author, the Italian musician Erica Mou.
4. J O Morgan in London
Details and tickets here. https://www.orwellfestival.co.uk/booking/p/12th-july-7pm-jo-morgan-on-appliance
As well as another novel, Pupa, Morgan has published seven book-length poetry volumes, listed on his Wikipedia page.
Some Glue Factory regulars will be there on Tuesday - it's our annual works outing. Join us!
5. 2022 Observer / Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism
News from Dublin, where the soprano Elizabeth Hilliard and composer David Bremner (both Glue Factory stalwarts) have a very exciting project currently in rehearsal.
They are prearing for the world premiere production of Slow Recognition, a minimal and immersive 50-minute chamber opera, developed by a process of close collaboration between composer David Bremner, director/dramaturg Hélène Montague and designer John Comiskey. It will be performed in the round to small audiences at the atmospheric Unit 44 space in Stoneybatter, Dublin.
This experimental piece takes an OuLiPo approach, playing with re-combinations of a small pool of text, allowing the singers to paint an expressive world into each word and for the spectator to construct a provisional narrative. Similarly the staging and design play with basic elements, clear gestures with an unclear meaning. The three characters have definite and individual characters, seemingly both familiar and strange to each other, and the clear shape of a story unfolds in time, one told through the totality of the experience rather than literally.
It is a piece of gradual, imperceptible transitions, where a tiny change of emphasis can precipitate a sudden change in dramatic direction.
Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano)
Naomi Louisa O’Connell (mezzo-soprano)
Rory Musgrave (baritone)
Andreea Banciu (viola) and
David Bremner (live electronics)
Site-specific performances at Unit 44, Stoneybatter, starting at 8pm on
Wednesday July 13th
Thursday July 14th
Friday July 15th
Saturday July 16th
Free tickets are available here on eventbrite.
Supported by the Arts Council, Kirkos, the Lir Academy, and the Contemporary Music Centre.