A former wandering rough-sleeper, who roughed it in among other places Aberystwyth, returns to tell what he has been up to since in… The World According to John Bird, 7.30 pm, Tuesday 25th February at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
John Bird’s name was written with poverty’s pen. He first enters the records born into a Notting Hill slum just after the Second World War. Then, aged 5, as a statistic in the social services register of the London Borough of Paddington as being homeless. Then, aged 7, as a temporary orphan in an orphanage run by the nuns of the sisters of Charity.
Not long after, reunited with his family aged 10 he enters the records of the Juvenile court in Chelsea as a shoplifter, followed soon on, by a non-attendee at school, a housebreaker, a bike and car thief.
I will not bore you with this discreditable life as a piece of post war social statistica. Only to say by the grace of god, prison and reformatory he eventually sorted himself out and became a member of the middle classes by becoming a Marxist Engelist Leninist Trotskyist (a MELT’IST). There he began a revolutionary struggle to destroy capitalism, that noxious system that had held him in poverty for so long.
Unfortunately he should have left the destruction of capital to Wall Street and the City of London. They are much better at destroying capitalism than any revolutionary group.
Lo and behold in his early 40’s he re-met an old friend from his criminal days who gave him the money to start The Big Issue. A resounding success that was based on his own struggle out of need and crime into usefulness.
Bird is explosive, joyous, passionate, optimistic and good fun to spend a few hours with. But no more; for he can go on all night. Wise wisdom mixed with thick jokes, tall stories and comic tales, you will be seduced and reduced by this cornucopia of flannel and fun.
Be prepared to laugh, cry, be exalted and outraged by the cacophony of cock-ups that Bird perpetrated on himself and the world, only then to become the most useful man in this disunited kingdom. You will leave the theatre convinced that resignation and cynicism are not the only choice for the modern punter. To book contact the ticket office on 01970 62 32 32 or go online http://www.aber.ac.uk/artscentre.