Life and Death and Everything in Bewteen

The last day of Eamion Porktraddle and why a cheese sandwich = Einstein’s theory of relativity


Life and Death and Everything in Between: The Factory Studio, Boscombe. Sunday 6th May, 2018

With one sandal, a coat tied on with string, a tinfoil hat to keep the voices out and a flatulence problem not helped by a diet of strong beer, Eamon Porktraddle is confused by the chaos and unfairness of life. We’ve all seen people like him raging at the moon but society tends to turn its back on them.

In this intriguing piece of experimental theatre staged as part of the Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe we find ourselves witnessing Porktraddle’s last day on earth.

Life and Death and Everything in Between was written and performed by Bournemouth-based poet and playwright Peter John Cooper in collaboration with actors Julian Harrow and Tricia Lewis,sound artist Timo Peach, lights and projection man Conrad Barr and brass player Paul Kelley. There were also an excellent pair of mermaids - Holly and Elinor Cooper - whose singing urged the unfortunate Porktraddle to join them in the deep.

Harrow’s performance as this poor soul trudging the beach, adrift on the shoreline is instantly recognisable to anyone living in a seaside town like Bournemouth. Such places have a tendency to attract people who are damaged, often through no fault of their own, and clinging to anything that might offer a chance of survival. They are treated like human flotsam, particularly by those who feel it is their duty to guard against ‘undesirables’ or to put it another way people who are not like them.

It’s a clever piece of writing incorporating poetry, sound and song that chronicles Porktraddle's battles with his own nihilistic tendencies and his extreme flights of fancy. This is a man, who between flatulent outbursts, can equate the makings of a cheese sandwich with Einstein’s theory of relativity. Bonkers perhaps but he’s certainly got the measure of the local planning committee which is scheming, amid a flurry of backhanders, to do unspeakable things to the town. Will anyone listen? What do you think? Porktraddle’s last stand is a combustible one. With one final ginormous fart he launches himself into the cosmos. As someone almost once said: He is stardust, he is golden. Nice one! - Jeremy Miles

© Jeremy Miles 2022