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An evening celebrating the Life and Work of William Burroughs featuring news works by Richard Strange and Gavin Bryars, and many more.
An evening celebrating the Life and Work of William Burroughs featuring news works by Richard Strange and Gavin Bryars, and many more.
68 backers pledged £10,175 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The novelist William S Burroughs was born on February 5th 1914. 2014 is his Centennial year. We intend to celebrate the life and work of this influential artist in an evening entitled Language is a Virus from Outer Space. 

Drawing on Burroughs’s books, the evening will highlight the drama, artistry and humour of his life to create a multi-media theatrical musical event. Several of the key elements of Burroughs’s life will be referenced including His lifelong battle with drugs, his obsession with firearms, his invention of The Dream Machine, and his distaste for all forms of officialdom and state control . Among the collaborators will be leading exponents of Fine Art, Dance, Literature, Theatre and Music.

Among the many treats in store, there will be a new work  from the renowned composer Gavin Bryars, with a libretto by the writer, musician and actor Richard Strange, working alongside the arranger Audrey Riley.

Gavin Bryars, whose professional career began with his recordings of Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet in 1975 for Brian Eno’s record label, has been performed all over the world , and collaborated with many of the greatest names in Contemporary Culture, including Robert Wilson, Christian Boltanski and Merce Cunningham. 

The curator of the evening,  librettist and director Richard Strange, is a former member of 1970’s proto-punk band The Doctors of Madness. We will involve a student collective of musicians from the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, London, known as “We Are Children (We Make Sound)” in the performance, We are also planning an international hook-up with young musicians to participate LIVE in this unique event, via live streaming. 

The World Premiere will be at London's prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank on October 11th 2014, and will feature contributions from Richard Strange, Gavin Bryars, Audrey Riley, Sarah Jane Morris, Jeremy Reed, Gavin Turk, Haroon Mirza, Rupert Thomson, David Coulter, Seb Rochford, Luca Silvestrini, Anni Hogan, the young musicians ensemble We Are Chidren (We Make Sound) plus a number of surprise special guests! It is also hoped that the work will be performed elsewhere in the world subsequently over the following 24 months.

A number of generous individuals are supporting the project, as are The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, and applications are in with various Arts Funding bodies.

Risks and challenges

The project is already 60% funded, the music has been commissioned and the participating artists are contracted. Plans for the staging and set design are already under way.

I have many years of experience of curating events, from my own Mixed Media "Cabaret Futura", founded in London in 1980 and still going strong, to events for The Tate Gallery, The International Festival of Live Art, Glastonbury Festival and international events in Hong Kong, Germany and the USA. This will be the best and most ambitious event of all.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $17

    An effusive email from Richard Strange, making you feel like you are the most wonderful thing in the world!

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    Pledge £25 or more About $42

    Free ticket for one for a Cabaret Futura performance of your choice

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    Pledge £50 or more About $84

    Free tickets for 2 for a Cabaret Futura Performance of your choice

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    Pledge £100 or more About $167

    2 Free tickets for the World Premiere and After Party. Additionally, a signed DVD of the performance and a credit in the programme

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    Pledge £500 or more About $836

    4 Free tickets for the World Premiere and After Party. Additionally, a signed DVD of the performance and a credit in the programme, plus one year's free membership to Cabaret Futura

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,673

    Invitation to meet the artists, plus 4 Free tickets for the World Premiere and After Party. Additionally, a signed DVD of the performance and a credit in the programme, plus one year's free membership to Cabaret Futura

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    Pledge £5,000 or more About $8,365

    Invitation to meet the artists, attend the dress rehearsal, plus 10 Free tickets for the World Premiere and After Party. Additionally, a signed DVD of the performance and a credit in the programme,, plus one year's free membership to Cabaret Futura

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Funding period

- (29 days)