Archive for May, 2014:


Pull My Trigger

There were two things that stopped me from seeing the original performance of Ken Campbell’s adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson and Bob Shea’s Illuminatus trilogy:

The first reason I didn’t see the original adaptation was, at the time Illuminatus! was performed, I hadn’t yet come across the books, and didn’t know how much I would fall in love with them, and the worldview that created them.  Indeed, it almost felt like there was a conspiracy both introducing me to Illuminatus, and stopping me getting my hands on a copy.  The story of how I finally managed to get my grubby mits on a copy of Illuminatus is a complicated one, involving roleplaying games, two IRA bombs, a gorilla bookseller, almost dying of heat stroke minutes away from Disneyland, a chance discovery on the wrong bookshelf and counting sheep (and in the process turning them into sweet, sweet, money), but not one I choose to go into right now.  Suffice to say that along with “Godel, Escher, Bach” and “Practical Computer Programming for the BBC Microcomputer and Acorn Atom” it is one of my Desert Island books (I’ve never understood desert island disks – I have lots of music trapped in my head, but I can’t easily reread books without actually having them to hand)

The second reason I didn’t see the original adaptation was that I hadn’t been born.

Yet despite the lack of me being in the audience, Illuminatus was a groundbreaking production, and a key stepping stone in the careers of many people who have gone on to become well known and loved faces in theatre and on screen.  I have often wished I had been there.  But such things are not to be.

However…

Another of my Desert Island Books is Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘Cosmic Trigger’ a combination of autobiography, philosophical discussion and general introduction to the world Robert Anton Wilson inhabited as he wrote Illuminatus.  It is simultaneously mind expanding, laugh out loud funny and poignant.

And, word came to me from the doggiez from sirius (or possibly from a webpage…) that someone has been fool enough to consider putting on a stage adaptation of Cosmic Trigger.  And also that the particular someone is Daisy Eris Campbell, Ken Campbell’s daughter.  You can imagine my ears perking up at this.  Also, Alan Moore is going to be the voice of FUCKUP, which is rather cool in and of itself.

Cosmic trigger is going to be crowdfunded.  I’ve already made a small contribution, but the crowdfunding proper begins tonight (quite why the 23/5 was chosen as the launch date for the crowdfunding campaign is anybody’s guess…)

And so I shall tonight be making my way down to a small and exclusive gathering where similarly discordant people will be meeting, and almost certainly pontificating (literally).  I am told my cosmic trigger will be pulled.  The launch party is a sell out, but should you wish to be not only a patron of the arts but also a genuine official pope, you may want to head over to http://cosmictriggerplay.com/ tonight and give them all of your money.

© Ben.Cha.lmers.co.uk
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