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Dramatic plan to nuke Clun is luckily just make believe

Why does the 'Mayor of Bishop's Castle' want to nuke Clun? And why does he want to marry a woman who might be his mother?

The play is being performed at the Three Tuns Inn, in Bishop's Castle. Photo: Google.
The play is being performed at the Three Tuns Inn, in Bishop's Castle. Photo: Google.

Those are just some of the questions in a surreal new play being staged as part of Bishop's Castle Arts Festival.

Written by Bob Fowke, it is a piece of absurdist fiction billed as 'Enemies of Reason, in Poo-Poo McGuire' and is being performed at 7pm on February 21 at the Function Room at the Three Tuns Inn, in Bishop's Castle.

Bob says: "The mayoral character has no resemblance to anyone real, so no-one could possibly think so.

"One of several plot lines is about the mayor planning to nuke Clun and there being a border between them with barbed wire, so it is pretty surreal.

"There's also a character who thinks he's God – and he may indeed be God; it's not entirely clear."

Bob, who lives in Bishop's Castle, added: "It's broadly in the 'absurdist' style associated with Pinter and Beckett.

"My intention in this and in a previous play that I took to Edinburgh is to draw in the audience so that they're completely engaged but also unsure of their bearings."

He added: "I want them to arrive at the end of the play rather as one arrives at the end of a string quartet, for instance – you know you enjoyed it but you can't quite work out how you got there or the steps involved.

"In this play, the logic and the narrative are constantly shifting.

"It involves a meeting of Bishop's Castle Council and a mayor who could be said to have illusions of grandeur, but perhaps they're not illusions.

"One of the themes concerns how we see ourselves subjectively and the different ways in which the characters cope with what might possibly be described as existential angst, although I would hate for it to be seen as such a cliche.

"All that having been said, the audience spent most of the last play laughing and it is meant to be amusing, so hopefully they'll laugh again."

Appearing in the production are Pete Dunhill, Tim Halford, Annie Cockburn, Michelle Gaspar and Leon Kosciuczyk.

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