SCROUNGE, BY AMIE M MARIE – REVIEW

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by Toby Skelton

Shortly after the 2016 amendments to the assessment of Personal Independence Payments (PIP), a cartoon scolding the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) began doing the rounds on social media. In it, a figure sits behind a desk declaring: “If they drown, they need PIP. If they float, they weren’t ill.” whilst a woman is dragged out of the office by her hair. Accompanied by the caption “Conservatives Disability Policy”, the illustration caught a lot of online attention for this comparison of the DWP’s practices to those of the elementally evil Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins. Some found it an absurdly distasteful comparison; others deemed it a justified piece of satirical exaggeration. But as Amie M Marie deftly exposes in her new play Scrounge, the cartoon was barely hyperbolic in its analogy.

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‘IT MIGHT GET WEIRD’ – AN INTERVIEW WITH THE NEUTRINOS’ KAREN REILLY

by Ananya Wilson-Bhattacharya

In November 2021, as Glasgow swirled with police, delegates and protesters during the COP26 conference, one sound art gallery was hosting a unique performance. There, Norwich band The Neutrinos performed Darkroom, their lockdown-inspired, one-audience member soundscape show which takes place – as the name suggests – entirely in darkness. I caught up with vocalist Karen Reilly about the show, the band’s partner project Klanghaus and their dream Darkroom performance venue.

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‘REAL INTIMACY’ – THE NEUTRINOS LIVE

by Rowan Gavin

Sometimes you go to a gig not quite knowing what to expect. I found out I would be covering The Neutrinos’ recent double-set Norwich Arts Centre show for the Norwich Radical at relatively short notice, and decided on a whim to perpetuate my ignorance of the band’s work until I could hear it live. What I discovered, one December Saturday evening in that beautiful converted church hall, was all the more delightful for my lack of expectation – in fact, I’m not sure that any amount of pre-listening could have quite prepared me for the experience of this show.

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THE BEST READS OF 2021

By Ewa Giera, Sarah Edgcumbe and Samantha Rajasingham

Content warning: mentions of violence against women, police violence

From getting through that ‘to read’ backlog while stuck at home to reciting inspiring extracts at protests and on picket lines, we have read in many ways these past 12 months. As ever, at The Norwich Radical we believe in the written word as a world-changing source of joy, inspiration, education and hope. In this article, three of our contributors come together to share the best things they read in 2021, new and old. Each recommendation comes with a link to buy it direct from the publisher or on bookshop.org (where possible), but we encourage you to use your local bookshop in the first instance if you can. Happy reading!

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THE NORWICH RADICAL IN 2021

by The Norwich Radical team

If we’ve learned one thing at The Norwich Radical this year, it’s that solidarity is our strongest tool. It has been for the past year, and it will continue to be for the year just started.

Solidarity is what is keeping most of us going on this fascist little island, filled with transphobia and xenophobia; this island in which the government is enacting destructive and violent repression of migration, of self affirmation, of any form of protest; this island in which the media and arts establishment are complicit instigators of a mental and physical retreat to the dying nightmare of empire and colonisation.

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2021 IN 21 GREAT RECORDS

By Rowan Gavin and Kasper Hassett

Yes, it’s been a weird old year, but you don’t need us to tell you that. What you do need – what we all need – is some great music to get you through and give you life. Luckily, 2021 delivered that in spades. The following is a not-at-all-comprehensive list of 21 records that we and other members of the Norwich Radical team loved this year, and think everyone should listen to. They’re not necessarily the best out there; they don’t necessarily all say or do anything particularly radical; but we promise they’re all great.

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WHEN SERIOUS MEETS SILLY – ROBIN GOOD THE POLITICO-PANTO REVIEW

by Ewa Giera

“You’re a socialist, how can you hate people?!”

The line is directed towards Marion, the genderqueer activist, café worker and counterpart to Robin Good.  

The audience laughs goodheartedly at the oxymoron. Taken aback, I find myself laughing along. Soon after, Marion decides to run in the election to oust the Tory-coded Sheriff of Norwich, alongside Robin, and their drag queen father, Stratton Strawless.

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TEAR ALONG THE DOTTED LINE, BY ZEROCALCARE – A REVIEW

by Alex Valente

The chance to talk about a piece of Italian media that makes it onto the international stage, especially through a platform such as Netflix, is rare to come by; even rarer is for that media to be of any actual quality. It was with pleasure, then, that I sat down to watch Strappare Lungo i Bordi (Tear Along the Dotted Line), written and directed by Italian comics superstar Zerocalcare.

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PAINTING MYSELF HAPPY – AN INTERVIEW WITH VINCE LAWS

by Vince Laws and Alex Valente

We sat down remotely with local artist Vince Laws to talk about his recent series of paintings, modelled and grafted on famous works of Western painters, for the now available exhibition Painting Myself Happy – part of the Together! Disability History Month Festival, taking place online from 11th November to 9th December.

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SPOKEN WORD, SLAPSTICK AND SURREALISM – CRYSTAL PALACE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

By Carmina Masoliver

South East London has given me a new found love for cinema. After enjoying the Catford Mews’ short film festival recently, I made a point of attending the Crystal Palace International Film Festival (CPIFF) in September. Since 2010, CPIFF has been bringing independent films to the big screen from across the globe, including short films, mid-length films and feature films of all genres.

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