Anthony Burgess Tribute No End to Enderby – The Whitworth
Anthony Burgess. The name is synonymous with his novel and later film by Stanley Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange. Perhaps lesser known, certainly to many Clockwork Orange fans, were his quartet of comic novels under the pseudonym Joseph Kell which started with Inside Mr Enderby in 1963 concluding with Enderby’s Dark Lady or No End to Enderby in 1984.
These comic novels form the basis of artist Stephen Sutcliffe and theatre director Graham Eatough’s films No End to Enderby and The Muse, currently showing at The Whitworth, Manchester .The films are based on the first and last chapters in the quartet and spotlight the cultural figure of the artist and probes ideas of authenticity and posterity.
Anthony Burgess – Manchester Man
Shot on location in Manchester at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Old Granada Studios and on the University of Manchester campus,which incidentally, is close to where Burgess grew up and where Burgess was a student, the first film, Inside Mr Enderby, tells the story of a school trip from the future, who visit the fictional poet Enderby in his rooms. Some of the sets used for the film form part of the two room exhibition. As someone who remembers the early Doctor Who I was perfectly at home with the films style and with the school children looking a little like those from the Boom Town Rats ‘I Don’t Like Monday’s’ video in their insistence in not following instructions.
The Muse, follows time traveller Paley, historian of the future who looks to confirm whether Shakespeare wrote all the works attributed him. Filmed in the Old Granada Studios and with 60s/70s corridors and make-up tables mixed with Elizabethan dress and language, giving a surreal feel, it has Shakespeare as plagiarist acquiring ideas from our time traveller.
As John McGrath, Artistic Director & CEO of MIFestival “We are pleased to be paying tribute to Anthony Burgess in his hometown with such an exciting collaboration that takes , as its starting point, Mr Enderby, one of Burgess: finest creations”
From a personal point of view this piece of film-art by Eatough and Sutcliffe and winner of the Contemporary Art Society Prize 2015, is thoroughly enjoyable and I feel sure Burgess would have been equally delighted and entertained by this depiction of his work and characters.
The exhibition continues after MIF until September 17th. Make the effort. Go and see this great film piece and remember that Burgess lived, literally, just around the corner. He may just be watching over your shoulder!