Red Bastard, Nina Conti and Potatoes.

Nina Conti, comedian and ventriloquist, who I have written about before , was interviewed about monkey, the puppet that often accompanies her and regularly says things that people may find shocking or rude. She said

there’s something about the disembodiment of a thought that makes it more shocking

She is particularly talking here of Monkey’s flouting of social convention and I began thinking about “thought disembodiment” in other contexts. In Monkey’s case I think the word shocking is a good one, but in a more general sense I might choose to say something like

there’s something about the disembodiment of a thought that creates different connections.

I began thinking of Red Bastard  an american comedian in the bouffant tradition. A picture is important here:

red bastard

As you can see, he is a strange semi-human appearing creature which allows him to get away with more than if he was more conventionally attired, that is to say it seems that his appearance is a form of disembodiment. Ben Williams, TimeOut reviewer said of him in 2014

Through provocative audience-interaction Red Bastard gets inside your mind to help unlock your true desires, fears and ambitions. Sound scary? At times it’s petrifying, but you’ll be laughing too, either at his biting wit or through sheer nervousness.

In my performance of Not a Séance I hope that the potatoes will in some ways serve as disembodied thoughts, the messages coming from the potatoes rather than the minds of myself and the audience.

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