West Brom Hunger Strike

Ivor: There’s no way I’m eating lunch until we give the arts the punch! From now on I’m skipping dinner! The arts is just a money spinner! There’s no way I’m having breakfast, unless… the council… erm… ooh… what rhymes with breakfast?

Artist: Alright mate?

Ivor: Not now mate! Can’t you tell I’m protesting?

Artist: I can see that.

Ivor: I’m on hunger strike.

Artist: That’s a bit extreme. What are you protesting about?

Ivor: The arts. The council are frittering away money on frivolous things like art.

Artist: I’m an artist.

Ivor: Oh well…! This is all your doing!

Artist: It’s ok. I’m not here for a fight. I’m just interested to hear your point of view.

Ivor: Well it’s people like you who give this town a bad name. The council are giving a hundred and forty thousand pounds to Jubilee arts. Apparently they’re a community arts group, but hardly anyone has heard of them.

Artist: That is quite a lot of money. But compared to some things the council fund it’s not that much.

Ivor: What about the RSC? Everybody has heard of the RSC! The council would be better off spending the money bringing them to town.

Artists: The RSC wouldn’t work with as many people as Jubilee do. They’d do one show and bugger off back to Stratford. Jubilee has been in Sandwell as long as Sandwell has existed. And I think they do better work than the RSC.

Ivor: So why has no one heard of them?

Artist: That’s not necessarily the measure of good art or value for money.

Ivor: Yeah, well it’s money better spent elsewhere and I’m not eating until I get answers from the council leadership.

Artist: What would you rather spend the money on?

Ivor: Well the Sandwell Show for one. That’s been scrapped! What have artists ever done for us?

Artist: Well actually the Sandwell Show was set up by artists in the first place.

Ivor: Was it? I didn’t know that.

Artist: In fact Jubilee have been involved since the very first one.

Ivor: Yeah but apart form that, what have artists ever done for us?

Artist: Perhaps I can help you with your campaign slogans?

Ivor: Eh?

Artist: You needed something to rhyme with ‘breakfast’.

Ivor: Yeah that’s a tricky one. Poetry is not my strong point.

Artist: How about, ‘There’s no way I’m having breakfast while the council’s writing cheques fast’?

Ivor: That’s actually quite good.

Artist: You can have it.

Ivor: But don’t think that means I’ve changed my mind!

Artist: Not even a little bit?

Ivor: Look… just leave me alone will you? I haven’t got time to talk to you.

Artist: Sorry. I thought you were here for the long-haul.

Ivor: I am! But I’ve got to get home. The wife will kill me if I’m not home by 6.

Artist: Why?

Ivor: My tea’ll be ruined! My life won’t be worth living!

Artist: But you’re not eating dinner.

Ivor: Eh?

Artist: Aren’t you on hunger strike?

Ivor: Only while I’m here at the Town Hall! I do 10 till 12. Home for lunch. 1 till 2:30. Nip back for a slice of cake. Then 3-5:30 and tea is on the table at 6. Must go it’s Faggots and peas in front of the telly tonight – The Joy Of Painting’s on! Then I’ve got to make a new protest banner.

Artist: Protest banner? We can help you with that. We’ve got all the screen printing gear. Protest banners are our speciality. Drop in any time!