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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Folk crime of the century becomes Alan Ayckbourn script

So to recap. Tim Plester, writer and director of Way of the Morris, complained that after the 5,000 Morris Dancers event at the Southbank Centre last year he saw Eliza and Martin Carthy making off into the velvet night with his signed cut out of a Morrissey Dancer, one of David Owen's limited editions, given to him by the artist. He'd left it outside a bar. Yes, yes, I know. But it was too big to take in, he says.

Anyway. Eliza Carthy initially put on an innocent face with big eyes, before it emerged that it was, in fact, Simon Emmerson of The Imagined Village - who may or may not have been three sheets to the wind and who was with she and her father that evening - who had committed the folk crime of the century and half-inched the cut out believing it to be his own signed print. It went into his car, driven by Carthy junior, hence the confusion.

This, Emmerson originally maintained, would be easy to sort out since he could look at the cut out, which was sitting pretty in his studio - well, as pretty as an image of Morrissey is ever likely to get - and see whether it was signed or not. It was pointed out to him that since both prints were allegedly signed this might not necessarily help. However that appeared to be an end to it. Owen has been the picture of stifled amusement throughout.

However - you'll be pleased you've read this far - in a twist akin to discovering that the Titanic is in fact grounded at the edge of the Sea of Tranquility Emmerson reports that the cut out in his studio doesn't appear to be signed.

Oh noes...

So, by my reckoning this means that Plester and Emmerson's signed prints were both nicked, during that evening when there were hundreds of Morrissey Dancers (and morris dancing Stormtroopers) scattered around London in a guerilla marketing campaign, and that someone - someone - replaced the signed one left by Plester with a less desirable unsigned one, only to have it nicked by Emmerson.

Obviously this means that what was originally a crime story has descended into the kind of farce that usually involves a french window and an ironic script by Alan Ayckbourn. Oh. And there's this

which is Emmerson's new profile pic on Facebook. I'm going to miss this story when it's gone...

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