Tuesday 10 December 2019
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theguardian - 23 days ago

Endland by Tim Etchells review – once upon a time on England’s sink estates

Funny and fantastical, this collection of urban fables turns a broken mirror on broken BritainIn the 1990s, Tim Etchells – an experimental theatre-maker with the Sheffield-based Forced Entertainment – wrote a series of scabrous short stories, published as Endland: Or Bad Lives. Since then, he has intermittently written further tales from the same universe: Endland is a distorted version of England, where social divisions and geopolitical chaos are taken to absurd extremes.All 39 stories are brought together here, with an introduction by Jarvis Cocker. Almost all depict the lives of a deprived underclass. Endland is a place of grotty estates, exploitative jobs and crap pubs. But these urban fables are a world away from dour realism: dragons and ogres feature alongside alcoholics and sex workers. Etchells makes sparks fly by allowing the mythic to rub against grubby everyday existence: there are disruptions to the space-time continuum in Don Greek gods with names such as Herpes, Apollo 12 and Stormzy drink too much and get caught up in the migrant crisis. This is scorching, bitter satire of how society is continually screwed by inequality. Continue reading...

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