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Archive for July, 2006

Shift the scene

Aiming to address the under-representation of work by Afrikan Caribbean and Asian artists being made and seen in the People’s Republic, South West Screen and Kuumba are once again looking for people to be part of their rather lovely Screen Shift initiative.

Tenderly fashioned to encourage Afrikan Caribbean and Asian bods to create new films by working collaboratively across artforms, the scheme encourages artists to incorporate dance, poetry, sound and (yikes!) visual sculpture in their movies.
It also offers nine research and development awards and three of these will be commissioned as short films and premiered at Split Screen, the South West’s first dedicated Black and Asian Film Festival, in October.

The deadline for applications is September 1 and all the relevant information is, of course, on the South West Screen website.

Now all we need is a scheme to address the lack of female directors in the region…

Posted by Thin White Duke

July 31st, 2006

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ID v ego

People of the republic, listen up. You do realise, that any card carrying that you do on the republic’s behalf will be purely voluntary (that includes wearing the t-shirt). Phew, at least we’ve got that cleared up.

The government’s plans on the imposition of ID cards was nicely brought together by Henry Porter’s piece in the Guardian recently (read it, it is worth it), was quickly followed by news that the programme has already run into trouble.

Despite the government’s own shenanigans, maybe we should start a ‘don’t card me’ campaign with a referee and a forlorn looking Rooney-type character banged to rights for wanting to preserve his liberty. It was only a thought.

Maybe it would be more useful to prove that liberty is actually a synonym for terror.

Posted by Cptn

July 28th, 2006

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Net work

Possibly worried that their students may be missing out on all the ‘fun’ right here on the PRSD, Dartington College of Arts has urgently appointed IT types, Cablecom, to fit internet-based services in 72 rooms at their lovely Dartington Estate.

As a result, citizens will be able to browse the so-called web speedily in the (relative) comfort of their on-campus accommodation.

How lovely to know the college’s hallowed corridors will soon be ringing with the sound of righteous indignation and leftist smuggery – all courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood People’s Republic. Makes you proud, don’t it?

Posted by Thin White Duke

July 28th, 2006

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Forking hell

‘Always remember your fork,’ said Caroline Mawdsley, who is organising what seems to be the great picnic summer of South Devon.

The denoument of which is the Grand Picnic up at Haldon on August 13. Apparently you can walk there from the Exeter Phoenix if you meet early enough and wear sturdy enough shoes.

But that’s only part of it. The gallery (Exeter Phoenix) is calling for all those who have taken part in a picnic to send in their photos to be part of the picnic box exhibition by Heike Rindt (August 11- September 12). Yogi Bear need not apply.

Posted by Cptn

July 27th, 2006

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Access of evil

You cannot be serious!” was the shout, and no, it wasn’t about Wimbledon. It was in response to the Walk don’t Walk campaign and the proposals to have a solar-powered chairlift up to the top of Haytor. How dare they? What balderdash! (Are you sure it wasn’t Wimbledon? - the Wombles might have something to say about that.)

As the Walk don’t Walk people point out, stairs have been cut into the rock (but they are Victorian stairs, of course), and there used to be an iron handrail, so what’s so different now?

All these people really want to do is improve access to Britain’s countryside for the elderly, less mobile and disabled, and that can’t be a bad thing and anyway all you out there fuming about political correctness gone mad, this seems more a stunt than anything more substantial (planning permission regulations, anyone).

We at the People’s Republic applaud them - more power to their solar-powered stairlift!

Posted by Cptn

July 26th, 2006

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Febrile Fitz # 2

As regular viewers may have noticed, our much-loved Mill Communication feature was missing in action again last week. This is because, due to circumstances beyond our control, the Trago Mills/UKIP thingies are ‘a bit shit’ these days. Who’d have thought right-wing zealotry could get so boring, eh?

So, we’ve turned our attention to the comedy stylings of the Evening Herald’s weekly column by David Fitzgerald.

Yes, everyone’s favourite ex-TSW presenter (after Judi Spiers, Ruth Langsford, Ian Sterling and Gus Honeybun) continues in his quest to ‘tell it like it is’ with all the easy charm of a fledgling Richard Littlejohn.

Like the Trago ads, there’s plenty of wheat among the ‘chaff’, but who wants to wade through Fitz’s ramblings to find the good stuff within? Answer: Absolutely nobody.

So that’s why we’re doing the hard work for you, in our occasional series entitled Febrile Fitz.

This week’s column is a good column for fans of Rainman-like observations about doing skag in the bogs. Enjoy:


ONE BUNNYHOP: “Apparently WD40 is sprayed on the top of toilet cisterns to stop drug addicts laying out a line of coke. WD40 instantly dissolves the drug. My father smells of WD40 and has done for the past 30 years! He told me he went to Carlyon Bay last month, maybe it was Colombia?”
TWO BUNNYHOPS: “Now I understood why only last week I was bathed in a blue fog as I stepped into a local public loo. At best the lighting could be described as dim, on a clear day you could see as far as the condom machine.”
THREE BUNNYHOPS: “Ultraviolet light makes it impossible for addicts to find a vein. I used ultraviolet lights in my early disco days in and around Exeter to see what underwear the local talent had.”

Oh, Fitz, you are a one.
Bye children.

Posted by Thin White Duke

July 25th, 2006

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Joy of sax

Hullo viewers - Thin White Duke here. Now, we’re no fans of saxophones at the People’s Republic but this sounds like it could be interesting. Not sure if we could handle a room full of the bloody things though. It would sound too much like the seagulls ripping apart our binbags on a Monday morning.

Anyhoo, thanks to Brett Hornby for emailing us this:

A room full of saxophones, all playing at once – it seems like a composer’s nightmare, but it is a dream coming true for this particular composer.

I’ve gathered together some of the best saxophone players between Plymouth and Exeter. We are currently rehearsing music that takes its influences from John Dowland and Peter Brotzman, Mike Westbrook and Akira Tanaka, a mixture of rich counterpoint and lush harmony, wild improvisation and dissonance.

The players too, come from different backgrounds, be-bop, early jazz, free improvisation, classical quartets. Keep your ears peeled, expect innovation and class from the Bent Pipes Orchestra; you will hear more.

This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. There is a music here which is neither jazz nor classical music, and yet both. The palate is orchestral and precise; the players each unique improvisers. It is wonderful working with musicians who realise exactly what I want from the music, yet bring their own voice to it. This is the wonder of jazz writing.

The first concert is on September 10 at the Royal Seven Stars, Totnes, as part of the Totnes Indian Summer Festival. Picture shows Brett Hornby, Ian Wellens, Mick Green, Dave Murphy, Zoë Lambeth, Roz Harding, Otto Caretta, Sarah Dean, Doug Cotton, Andrew Burnett and Bev Knowlden of The Bent Pipes Orchestra.

Posted by Brett Hornby

July 24th, 2006


For crying out loud

“Shout shout, let it all out, these are the things I could do without,” sang Tears For Fears in the 80s and they were dead right.

Just ask the Children’s Commissioner for England (all hail!). He/She/It wants kids in the People’s Republic to get things off their proverbial chests by entering a competition called, rather thrillingly, Shout! Turn Up The Volume!

To enter the compo, entrants have to provide a piece of artwork (it can be a picture, film, photo or image) on a subject which is close to their heart.

This could be on any topic – from what goes on at school to how young people are talked about in the media to Harold Bishop from Neighbours.

The issues raised will set the work priorities and be used to develop the new brand identity for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England – basically because they’re too lazy to think of some ideas on their own.

Either way, the winning brats will be invited to a mystery location in swinging London on August 12 to develop their concepts with a top design agency.

Entries can be made at and must be in by Friday, July 28.
So come on, I’m talking to you. Come on.

Posted by Thin White Duke

July 21st, 2006

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Tome economics

We’re not too bothered about puking pigeons or saturnine swans but the PDSA’s new fundraising initiative, the Big Book Fetch, seems like a pretty good idea in its own right.

The charity wants citizens of the People’s Republic to sign-up to hold their own second-hand book sale over the weekend of October 13-15, with all funds going to help treat sick and injured pets.

Which is fine and dandy, but we think the initiative could also go a long way towards keeping your local community healthy and wise too. Ya dig?

So what are you waiting for? Books. Recycling. Great value. It sounds like the PRSD family motto, don’t it?

Log on to the website and a rheumy-eyed animal lover will send you a Big Book Fetch information pack.

Posted by Thin White Duke

July 20th, 2006

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Webbed feat

We know you spend a lot of time online reading PRSD but did you know there are other websites to be found on the so-called internet? No?
Well, here’s another one worth checking out –

It’s the South West Tourism site which has just won the International TravelMole Award for Best Tourist Board website. Really? Yes.
It apparently beat off the likes of Discover Ireland, Australia’s Northern Territory and Blimey, It’s Newton Abbot from the final shortlist to win the award.

The websites nominated were judged on their attractiveness, simplicity of use, search engine optimisation, site interaction and use of technology, blah, blah, blah.
The Nature South West site is one of South West Tourism’s nine ‘brand’ sites and has already received 239,000 visits since its launch in April 2005.

That many visits may seem like small potatoes to us at the ever-popular People’s Republic but we think it’s good to give these struggling newbies a ‘leg up’.

So keep up the good work, guys!

Posted by Thin White Duke

July 19th, 2006

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Previous Posts

Save the Northcott

Save the Northcott Theatre


Green Books

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Melting Pot

Melting Pot- Studio Sessions

Ethical Directory


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Dear Citizen,

Welcome to the People's Republic of South Devon. Your subscription will begin with the next newsletter. Keep up to date by visiting the blog regularly and make sure your voice is heard. Many thanks, The People's Republic of South Devon.

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