A theatrical production designed by Damien Hirst - (famed for cutting up anything with a face in the name of 'art') - and Keith Allen - (last seen breaking television sets whilst dancing with his knob in a didgeridoo backstage at Glasto 2002) - is never going to be, what you might, say 'regular'. Especially not when its subject matter concerns an event where the great unwashed come together with the very elite layer of A-list musical celebrity to indulge and invent new kinds of debauchery, in a field, somewhere in Somerset. First came the enigma of the Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts, now we have the spectacle that is Glastonbury: The Play.
First off; don't expect seats. It's all arses to the groundsheet, reminiscent of one of those freezing late night escapes to the comedy tent. Held in a large marquee, complete with portaloos and neon lit fencing, there's a bar with a choice of burger van and organic soup stall selling the finest cuts of animal hide and carrot cake. There's no fleecing Scousers though, and it is safe to park your car. Having said that, we are in Cardiff tonight…
Performed across two revolving stages with a myriad of fantastically produced backdrops; it's a tale covering every major theme of everyone's time at Glasto. Sex, lies, love, drugs, loudness, losing people, commercialism, hippies, security, VIPs and violence. Whether you're crusty veterans from the heyday of Bolan or you popped your festival cherry this year, you'll definitely associate with much of what it covers.
Set around the crossed paths of five main characters, it's a dry-witted expose of the dark side of Glasto. Characters like New-Age Traveller, Freddy, a 31 year old ex-public schoolboy at the festival with his Hippy circus troupe stand for the 'good' of it all. He meets and falls in love with Marie, a 17 year old festival virgin there without her parents' permission to see her pop idol 'Seline Prima'. Pretty and naive, she's willing to love anyone, and will do anything for a chance to meet her idol. When she meets Champion, the pop princess's 29 year old PR man, she doesn't think twice about indulging in a bit of coke action backstage.
Full marks to Zoe Lewis for creating a character that VF is so very familiar with and also for introducing 'fluffing' to the many young festival goers watching this play.