‘The naked angle doesn’t bother Ric...we talked about a live show’

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Weary of politics and hearing about Brexit? Well, there’s an event coming up soon that might just pique your interest.

It involves nakedness, political conspiracy theories and psychedelic anti-pop music.

Interested now? Well, get ready for the World Premiere of The Great Big Naked Conspiracy Night which takes place on March 30 as part of this year’s Festival of Ideas and Politics in Belfast. McHugh’s Bar is the venue for this unusual event produced by local cultural activist Eileen Walsh.

It will feature a conspiracy-themed gameshow and live music by explosive Derry-based anti-pop band The Barbiturates, whose set will be accompanied by esoteric, dreamy, politically charged visuals. Walsh, who presents the Weekly Arts Show on Drive 105, will also be hosting The Naked Politics Show live in front of an audience for the first time.

“Every month on my radio show I do a feature called The Naked Politics Show, where I interview Canadian journalist and political analyst Ric Mullen about current affairs. It’s always a telephone interview, it’s always live and Ric is always nude.

“As he travels a lot, I usually ask him to fill in our listeners on where he is and on what he’s wearing, which of course is always nothing. It’s kind of like a reverse Italian quiz show. I lived in Spain for many years and a lot of the TV shows there featured men who were heavily dressed, nearly in three-piece suits, whereas the female presenters were more often than not very scantily clad.

“The naked angle doesn’t bother Ric a bit. I think he has spent a lot of time in Berlin, so he thinks that nakedness isn’t such a big deal. We’ve often talked about maybe doing the show live in front of an audience, so when the Festival of Ideas and Politics asked me to submit an event this year I just couldn’t resist.

“We also discussed whether or not we’d allow photography during the live show. We decided that it would be more fun to allow people to draw or sketch instead. So there are no photographs, but we do encourage people to bring along a sketch pad – because we’ll be awarding prizes for the best live drawings of this event. We’ve been doing The Naked Politics Show for a few years now, so we’re pretty much pre the whole #Metoo era. But it is a serious show. After a bit of banter we really get down to politics, discussing pressing news items, often involving Trump or Putin. Recent subjects include the crisis in Venezuela and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Data mining and smartphones, all sorts of subjects that really interest listeners.”

Walsh has written a new gameshow which will also make its premiere at the event.

“Myself and fellow creative David Dryden had often talked about doing a conspiracy-themed night. Even though lots of people have switched off from mainstream politics, many young people in particular are really into conspiracy theories. So I decided to write The Great Big Conspiracy Gameshow for a bit of fun. Tickets are available at: http://buytickets.at/togetherinpiecesinteractivecic/222066