Performance Space: May 1968: From a Mod to a Marxist

Event Details
Date: , 2018
Time: to
Venue: M Shed, BS1 4RN
Price: Free
With: Stuart Butler
Series: Bristol Radical History Festival 2018
Page Details
Section: Events
Subjects: Modern History (Post World War II)
Tags: , ,
Posted: Modified:

Born in 1951, Radical Stroud’s Stuart Butler recounts how the events of May ’68 turned him from a mod into a Marxist.  Stuart shares his personal journey during the year that rocked the world through prose-poetry.


Sixteen years’ old in the spring of 1968: bored with school; bored with A levels; why on earth did I stay on? Skint.

Just got the sack from a Saturday job. No fags, no new records, no new clothes, no job, no money. Swindon have just had another rubbish season and now there’s just a long close season ahead with boring, boring, bloody cricket and athletics and tennis.

Cliff Richard number one with boring, bloody ‘Congratulations’ and now Louis bloody Armstrong with ‘What a Wonderful World’ and ‘Cabaret’.

Christ alive.

The hollows of these spring afternoons are so long and deep – it’s that bad and boring that I’ll have to watch the news on the telly.

‘Blimey! What’s all this?’

‘Mum, can I have a cup of tea? I’m watching the news.

Join Stuart Butler for a modern day Pilgrim’s Progress, on a journey from a teenage Slough Despond to the Celestial City. Join him on his confiding, confessional journey from a Mod to a Marxist, for ‘Bliss it was that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven’.

Forget the 1967 Summer of Love. Celebrate the 1968 Spring of Politics.


More alliterative madeleine moments to follow a mod becoming a Marxist: a look at how May ’68 has been memorialized – from slogans on walls to Nicholas Sarkozy to a train driver’s billy can. 

In addition, a counter-factual rumination … a What If  …What if Paris 1968 had been successful … How different would history have been?

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