Not everything in life is simple. Red Smed, however, is. And to prove it this blog has been set up to take you deep into his deranged socialist utopia where Lenin was quite a nice bloke, , Bridgwater has been renamed Parretgrad , every home has to display a portrait of Jake Thackray and Leeds United are at the top of the premier league.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Sin and Sodomy at the Bridgwater Arts Centre

Kim Newman as sex pervert  'Prince' surrounded by
'actresses  from the 
Sheep Worrying Theatre Group

In 1980 the Bridgwater Arts Centre was labelled a 'jive joint for wierdies' by Tory councillor Margaret Rees who moved in next door and then complained that there was an Art Centre next door to her. So appropriately it was the venue for the launch of Sheep Worrying Theatre Company in September 1980-with the play 'Another England' -written by Kim Newman and about a Fascist takeover of Britain. 

The show was a success and the Theatre company's next production was agreed to be the play previously banned by College Principle JC Miles when the Youth theatre had planned to do it 'The Scandalous History of the Reverend Henry James Prince and his Abode of Love'.

The story of Prince - basically a religious nutjob who lived in Spaxton and set up an 'abode of love' where he saved sexy young women by shagging them whilst proclaiming himself to be the Messiah - is told on the Westover web here.

Smedley & Byrne as Victorian tabloid
journalists in the Prince play
The Sheep Worrying show was written by local  playwright Charles Mander with music by Brian Smedley and starred Kim Newman as Prince and premiered on the anniversary of the night of the Son of God's surprise death.

Several of the songs went on to become features of  Smedley and Newman's band Club Whoopee along with other songs from the future Sheep Worrying musicals that loomed over the horizon.

'Sin and Sodomy' was what the villagers of Spaxton drinking their ears off in the Lamb inn next door to the Abode of Love ,undoubtedly  assumed was going on next door to them and probably exactly what Mrs Rees assumed was going on next door to her.

Smedley overacting like a twat
'Sin and Sodomy' was recorded on 22 February 1982 at Milborne Port studios along with a pile of other tracks thrown together one take style including 'He could save me anyday' sang by future screen actress Liz Hickling and also from the Prince Play. The whole session was released on an album 'Sheep Worrying at the Club Whoopee'.

The musicians included Kim Newman on lead vocals, Smedley on bass, Andrew Napthine on guitar, Neal Heckford on piano, Robin Tucker on drums plus Lynne Cramer, Liz Hickling and Sarah Marks on backing vocals. Peter Grieve was also doing some vocals  - but not on 'Sin and Sodomy'. If anyone wants to play along it's in the key of C Minor . Well, most of us.....