In 1994, avant-garde electronica band The KLF burned one million pounds. And no one, including its members, really knows why. Now, it’s 2019, and avant-garde provocateurs In Bed With My Brother are trying to make a show inspired by The KLF’s banknote bonfire – a show that points a fuck-you finger squarely at the fringe, and its expensive, exploitative side.
It’s an intentionally anarchic hour. Performers Dora Lynn, Nora Alexander and Kat Cory – variously naked, heavily pregnant, drenched in beer, and wearing heavy black ponchos – wreak havoc on stage and in the audience in front of a flickering screen and a thumping techno score.
They squirt water pistols, dance around like lunatics, they repeatedly ask the same spectators their names, they list all the things they shouldn’t do on stage. Throughout, they threaten to burn all the profit they’ve made from their performance – £615 tonight – at the end of the show.
It’s raucous and incoherent, but it’s a mistake to think this part-improvised mayhem is thoughtless. There’s a crazed comment about consumerism and capitalism and the contortions artists such as In Bed With My Brother have to go through to keep making work. Maybe, they suggest, The KLF were right. Maybe it’s best to burn it all.