Wednesday 5th to Sunday 23rd July 2017
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Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Spies, Stories & Songs - Cold War Music
At the Fringe we try to bring you some exclusives and here - thanks to the noisy Steve Roberts - we have something you'll read nowhere else. We sent Steve a batch of daft questions and he showed great patience in answering them all politely and intelligently. Not that that should surprise us.
Steve is playing at Scrivener's Bookshop on 10 & 17 July from 1-2pm. Tickets are free but places will be limited so pop into Scrivener's soon and sort out a ticket (or phone 01298 73100).
have quite a lot of Fringe events this year connected with the Cold War. Why do
you think we are so fascinated and absorbed by that period in history?
perhaps there's a bit of nostalgia around it; it was like living through
history if you're a person of a certain age. I was born the year the Berlin
Wall was built so it was always there and it was a shock when it all came
tumbling down. We also knew who the enemy was and we understood the reasoning.
There where also some great films and books and culture generally as The Cold
War was a battle for hearts and minds not merely territory. Today's conflicts
seem a lot more confusing.
spies who sold to the Russians came from Britain's social elite - they had
little to gain from their activities, so why did they do it?
look in to the history of it, you'll find that many of them didn't consider
themselves to be traitors because they believed Stalin to be the only one
capable of defeating Hitler and fascism and also that the tide of history was
sweeping capitalism away and communism would replace it. One or two dabbled
because it was fashionable at the time but some like Philby were committed
white, male James Bond: is that inevitable given the history of the Cold War
he's kept in the Cold War period probably, but if he is to function today not
necessarily. Bond, is no longer the property of those who created him; like
Batman he's an icon who can be changed whenever.
your show you will draw on Le Carre - want to tell us anything about less
familiar figures who inform your writing?
will draw on Le Carré the undisputed master but it was an author named Alan
Furst who set me writing these songs. A great novelist who mixes fact and fiction
in an exciting way and he's only the tip of an iceberg. I believe there's been
a renaissance in 'spy' writing; so many superb novels from people such as
Edward Wilson, Charles Cumming, John Lawton, Jane Thynne, David Downing and
many more. They all write brilliantly and, to me at least, there's more to them
than simple thrillers or mysteries.
are performing in Scrivener's Bookshop - we love that. It is, shall we say,
"intimate": will you be looking for any audience
first of all I'm delighted to be playing in a bookshop, I love them. I'll be
happy just to play to the books! At the least I'll be hoping to get some
recommendations. I just hope people find it interesting and want to listen to
my songs again, find out about and read some great books.
qualities do you have that might have made you a good spy? Any reasons why you
would have been a poor spy?
been a dreadful spy. I'm too loud, too nervous and too temperamental! The
modern day spy is a lot blander than those of the Cold War era, I might have
fitted in better then than now. Foibles and personality defects were more
acceptable and I have plenty of them.
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