In mythology the trickster is a fascinating and often misunderstood archetype. Mercurial, cunning and amoral, his sole purpose seems to be to spread mischief and deceit.
The past hundred years of British culture has been rich with real-life tricksters and pranks, from the great Piltdown Man hoax and the BBC's spaghetti trees to the 'rebranding' of the RSC to the RDC (Royal Dickens Company) by Ken Campbell in the early 1980s ,which led to a Scotland Yard investigation. More recently, society and its values have been the subject of ridicule and mischief from the likes of Banksy and Chris Morris.
With a host of hilarious examples from the worlds of theatre, literature, archaeology, art, TV and film, I will take you on an entertaining slide-show lecture to discover if there something of the trickster prevalent in the British psyche, and to show how tricksters – both real and fiction – help shape culture and society. The question is: can we trust him to tell the truth?
This talk was commissioned in 2013 by Brighton Dome and Festival and was first given as a unique April Fool's Day lecture at the Debating Chamber in Brighton's Council Town Hall.