Arrest That Poet! – 2014 Edinburgh Fringe

This is what I had been on the way to see before being conned into seeing the start of Deep Throat Live!. Fortunately, because it started fifteen minutes later and wasn't very far away down a hill, I only just missed the start of the show.

Danny Chivers was a nice middle-class young man who got involved in protests against climate change. He couldn't do some of the more practical things needed in the various protests, but he could write poetry… The show is the story of his radicalisation in the face of police violence, undercover police undermining their 'friends' and 'partners', and some of the reactions – from Richard Madeley and others – to the protests.

Amongst the politics, there are some particularly amusing moments – when spotted near to a gas-fired power station near Nottingham after the famous attempt to close down the nearby coal-fired power station, the EDF security team assumed the protesters were attempting to do the latter again, leaving their real target unprotected. That action lead to being sued for £5m by EDF for lost – in reality, only delayed – profits, and one of the proudest bits of the show is the way that was EDF shooting itself in the foot. The case was dropped in exchange for a promise not to trespass on EDF property again or to encourage other people to do so, but you can definitely see why someone might want to…

Had I more time and money, I'd also have seen Mark Thomas's show on having a campaign infiltrated by someone working undercover. Although that one has had a lot more coverage and will doubtless get a much bigger audience, it probably isn't much better than this one. Arrest That Poet! is certainly infinitely better than Deep Throat Live! and is definitely recommended.


On at 6:15pm at The Stafford Centre (venue 175, and with a nice cafe) until the 13th August.

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