Sacred Monsters


Manage episode 207556529 series 1301163
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Jeff Young is a dramatist for radio, screen and stage. He wrote the stand out Essay of Radio 3's In the Shadow of Kafka series 2015. His new Essays series reflects on aspects of the writer's craft - structure, imagination, character and so on - by sharing a deeply personal experience of the apocryphal muse, referencing other well known writers and artists and their relationship to their craft. Jeff says: 'When I was seventeen I hitched to Paris in search of the muse. I didn't really know what the muse was apart from a vague notion that it had something to do with inspiration and probably sex. The fact that I was, at the age of seventeen, already a failed artist and a bad poet didn't deter me. I was in search of the muse - of my muse, and she, it was inevitably a she, was waiting for me. A few years ago I wrote a drama called 'Wormwood' for Radio 3 about my Paris misadventures with a drug dealer called Harry and his decaying girlfriend, the ex-prostitute, Mona. My muses turned out to be two low life hustlers who took me to the cleaners and left me penniless. But they fed into the mythology and ended up in stories and I've never forgotten the smell of their breath.' An eclectic, erudite and engaging series that offers insight into the craft of writing. One: Sacred Monsters. In the 1980s Jeff was an Amsterdam squatter, The king of the warehouse he lived in was a magenta haired man called Wim de Wolf, mad from his years in a concentration camp, wildly queer, flamboyant and revolutionary. Amsterdam at that time was a hotbed of anarcho-hippy revolt - squatters riots, burning trams, and violent protest. Wim is an anarchic Muse. Make your stories cause a bit of trouble. This essay looks at character and the importance of breaking the rules, of dismantling the accepted conventions of writing. The guiding spirit of this essay is really Wim de Wolf, the mad, flamboyant rebel, but it's also Gregory Corso the delinquent Beat poet who Jeff encountered in an Amsterdam bar. He was a classic bad influence, the perfect role model to help a writer break the rules. Jeff Young is an award winning dramatist, with over 30 BBC Radio Drama productions. He also works on collaborative projects in site specific performance, installation and spoken word. Recent work includes 'Bright Phoenix', the 50th anniversary production at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Current research includes the history of Liverpool's London Road for an Everyman site specific production and Dada artist Kurt Schwitters's exile in the Lake District. He teaches playwriting at Liverpool John Moores University. Producer - Polly Thomas Executive producer - Eloise Whitmore A Naked Production for BBC Radio 3.

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