The EvilImp™ 'The Cowardly Lion [cub]'

Normally when an arts organisation is putting out press releases about their revolutionary new thing they really do love it when you get in touch and ask them for an interview. It gives them a chance to answer a lot of soft soap questions in a vain attempt to convince an unimpressed world that they're thing really is, this time, going to change the world.

Not so however if you are Eddie Nixon the "Director of Theatre and Artist Development" at The Place in London and the creators of the The Place Prize.

When contacted by Article19 to request an interview we had the following conversation with The Place press flack (paraphrased and augmented for comedy effect);

Article19 : "Hi, we'd really like to talk to Eddie Nixon about The Place Prize, if you could put us through that would be smashing and we would love you big time!"

The Place: "Sorry but Mr Nixon is a very important man and doesn't have time to do an interview because he's currently making some curtains for his new throne room!"

Article19: "Ok, wow, so when will he stop being so important and finish those lovely curtains so we can talk to him on the phone"

The Place: "Never"

Article19: "What, never ever?"

The Place: "Never ever with sugar on top!"

Article19: "Those must be some pretty impressive curtains"

The Place: "They'll blow your mind man!"

The flacks did offer to answer questions via email, the tried and tested method of the permanently insecure, but we refused. When it comes to interviews, and we've done a lot of them, there's a natural back and forth when you're talking to someone that you don't get via email.

It's also a lot easier to pin them into a corner when you know they're talking complete and utter crap.

We really did want to talk to Mr Nixon, after all The Place makes some bold claims about the festival that never ends.

For example, in their press blurb they write enthusiastically about the "£1Million" investment that has been made over the years in new work. We'll wager, here in TheLab™, that if that investment was subject to the scrutiny of the Financial Services Authority the cost vs return aspect of that investment would probably mean somebody would be doing some serious jail time.

The flacks did say this much;

"Eddie and other members of the team here at The Place frequently give interviews for all sorts of media outlets, both via email, over the phone and in person. We are proud to talk about our work, open in our dealings with the media and keen to give as full a response as possible to all enquiries, either from the media or the general public."

Except not in this case because they know there is a big difference between emailing and talking, if they don't they probably shouldn't be in their jobs.

If we were to give a few words of advice to The Place it would be this. Stop hiding under the sofa, if you're scared of us, don't be, man up, strap on a pair and speak your mind.

Also, if you work at an organisation that receives more than £2Million in public subsidy every year then be prepared to talk about it and don't expect everybody to kiss your ass.

The Place Prize runs sometime later this year until the end of time or when Jesus actually does return to the mortal coil, whichever is sooner!

[ Lion Cub photo by Martin Heigan ]

  • Jason Ashcroft

    The Place Prize is a complete joke! I mean for the love of God, half of the bloody people that have been commissioned this year have had the same frickin opportunity in previous years! New dance? My arse! I'm so fed up of seeing the same old crap that The Place supports year in year out. The Place Prize has also turned into a box ticking exercise. Dance which focuses on ethnic diversity? Check. Dance with non-trained dancers? Check. Dance and inclusivity? Check. Choreographers outside UK? Check. It upsets me that if you work in contemporary dance, are white and from the UK then you are lucky if you are given the opportunity. Well, apart from if you have licked Eddie Nixon's arse in the first place. Seems like if you are partial to a bit of brown nosing then you get very far in Eddie's World.

  • evilimp2

    give me a break........ brown nosers? hardly. You obviously just don't make work that suits The Place at this moment in time. Get over it. You sound so hard done by. A lot of people think as you do and feel so let down by not being able to 'get in there' and bitch and bitch. Its so boring.

    The only secret for Place Prize is called 'A Good Proposal'. Entries are viewed for shortlisting anonymously. Fair enough if their videos include certain artists dancing in them, then it doesn't take a wizard to figure out who it is applying.

    The Place is the premiere contemporary dance centre in the UK. The people working there know what they are doing. Its their job. They have a very important role in the dance community, but it is not the be all and end all of the dance world. Maybe your work may suit other venues such as your local church hall?

    Lose the big chip on your shoulder then you may be able to 'get in there'. although I know your response will be: 'I would never want to get in there'


  • Jason Ashcroft

    Oh, did that hit a nerve? Who are you....Eddie's Dad? Thought you were going to start crying then. I don't have a big chip on my shoulder and I don't even make work so that's shot your theories to bits - sorry! Well done though Einstein. I'm a dancer commenting on my disappointment at The Place. I am entitled to my own opinion, am I not? I trained at LCDS and I worked at The Place for a good few years so i believe I know the organisation pretty well).

    Good proposal you say? In whose eyes? Judging by the commissioned artists entry/horror films currently enlightening us via The Place website, I assume you were trying to be funny with that statement. It's not about bitching, it's about calling a spade, a spade. Also, if you are pointing out that lots of people are saying what I am saying, does that not back up my thoughts somewhat?

    You, my friend, should indeed be BORED because having listened to your drivel I'm struggling to stay awake long enough to type this reply. Oh, and I like the dig about the church hall - that was clever, bless you. I'd consider this proposal if you come and DJ at that performance and give us some of your best chit chat. Can't wait.

  • Evil Imp2

    wow. nice one Spade...... sorry i mean Jason.

  • It's hard to tell if you work for The Place or just have an overly optimistic view of the impartiality of a large scale organisation looking to protect both funding and sponsorship of an idea that makes little or no sense. That they refuse to answer questions about it only re-enforces that notion.

  • evilimp2

    No I agree with my big bro. It would have been a good opportunity for the cynics to hear his side. I was just replying to J A's harsh response

    However at the end of the day I do understand for funding, boxes do have to get ticked BUUTTTT also at the end of the other day a good proposal is a good proposal- it doesnt mean a good piece of work not even if you are blind, have one leg and are called Shaniqua.

  • James

    Maybe the reason Eddie is reluctant to do an interview is because of your comments about the Place Prize in the past. Or maybe because you virtually always write about things in a negative way pointing out its faults. The "£1million investment" for example.

    Don't get me wrong-I think they Place Prize is a farce, and that it is probably rigged as well. I just don't blame Eddie for not wanting to talk to you. If I was in his position I'd be "hiding behind the sofa" as well.

  • Yep, it's all our fault, for pointing out those pesky faults in things!

  • James Smith

    Thats because he's a ****!

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