The Warp at the ICA

Neal Oram wrote an autobographical sequence of plays called the Warp. It was originally performed, in Jan/Feb 1979, at the ICA in London, 22 hours split into 10 separate performances. The subject matter of The Warp is a mystic/hippie journey through the sixties and seventies which features, in the last play, events which occurred at the 1977 Bungay May Horse Fair.
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The ICA performances were accompanied by workshops/talks on subjects featured in each of the plays. Some of the long time Barsham organisers had been asked, but decided not to participate. It didn't seem right, talking about the fairs, they were to be organised and experienced, not to be talked about.

In December 1978, a middle of the night natter at a Church Farm party, a few of us agreed it would be a shame not to participate, and it was decided that we should simply hold a mini fair in the ICA. And that's just about what happened, at the cost of a large phone bill for Peter S who pulled all the bits together.

We took over the cafe and theatre foyer, banged nails in the walls to hold the Albion Photo Exhibition. Frank's mini teepee was erected in the cafe. (The roof was too low, the teepee sprawled a little.) A trip to Islington City Farm got us the straw bales for the stage. Through the afternoon and early evening, singers sung, musicians played, actors performed, jugglers juggled and Bruce and Jill did rituals. It was gleefully silly, a spot of rural anarchy visited on one of London's centres of culture. We packed up only when the arriving playgoers made movement impossible. Later as they left we took over the theatre and a mixture of the show's musicians and ours played on, and we danced until the ICA staff threw us out between 2 and 3 in the morning.