The Play by Daisy Eris Campbell. Adapted from Robert Anton Wilson’s seminal autobiography Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of The Illuminati. See it at The Cockpit – Gateforth St, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH. BUY TICKETS HERE
“Robert Anton Wilson’s ‘Illuminatus!’ had a profound effect on me and the Cosmic Trigger Play will no doubt do the same for a whole new generation.” Alan Moore, writer/author of V for Vendetta, Watchmen and Jerusalem
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In 1976 maverick playwright and director Ken Campbell staged Robert Anton Wilson’s, Illuminatus! – a nine-hour stage play that helped launch the careers of Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy. It also led to the backstage conception of a baby girl; Daisy Eris Campbell.
“One of the most original and unclassifiable talents in British theatre of the past half-century” The Guardian obituary for Ken Campbell – 2008
Now Love & Will Productions and The Cockpit are delighted to announce the debut full run of Daisy Campbell’s adaptation of Wilson’s seminal countercultural text; Cosmic Trigger. Part sequel, part revisit, part homage, part new writing; this is the story behind the notorious conspiracy satire, ‘Illuminatus!’, the extraordinary life of the novel’s author, Robert Anton Wilson, and the unstoppable force that was theatre legend Ken Campbell.
Daisy Campbell says; “Reading Cosmic Trigger changed my life and the lives of many others – and the book is dedicated to my Dad. Wilson’s uniquely optimistic and radically agnostic philosophy is incredibly relevant in these crazy times. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with The Cockpit on this production. They are the perfect co-conspirators to help us bring the wit and wisdom of Robert Anton Wilson back to life.”
The original work reinterpreted world history as a giant conspiracy theory and Daisy’s new work gives a backstory to the original production, featuring the lives of Wilson and Campbell, as well as the counterculture figures Timothy Leary, Alan Watts and William Burroughs, whom Robert Anton Wilson befriended.
Set in the late sixties and early seventies, the play recounts the period of Wilson’s life around the conception and writing of Illuminatus. During this time, he befriended heroes of counterculture, took LSD and experimented with the magical rituals of Aleister Crowley with predictably – and unpredictably – mind-blowing results.
With many of the original cast returning and Alan Moore appearing via specially recorded audio and morphed video projections Cosmic Trigger is a celebration of all that has gone before it as well as a vital venture in its own right. This is a highly ambitious production, with projections in the round, phantasmagorical multiple narratives, and a different actor performing as William Burroughs every night, it is designed to evoke the real-life hallucinogenic trip through conspiracy, paranoia and enlightenment that transformed Robert Anton Wilson from ‘Playboy’ editor to much-loved counter-cultural icon.
Dave Wybrow, Artistic Director of the Cockpit and co producer of Cosmic Trigger says; “We are putting together a venue, a tribe and new ways of networking and creating work. It’s about joining low tech to hi tech, low culture to high culture and low budgets to high levels of audience reach and social impact. This first venture looks at counter-cultural legacy. But the vision is an open artistic community for the future.”
Cosmic Trigger previously played for two days in November in Camp & Furnace in Liverpool and five days at Lost Theatre Vauxhall in London in 2014 – this is the play’s first full run.
Cosmic Trigger – 4th – 27th May 2017 at The Cockpit
Listen to Iron Man Records Release: Robert Anton Wilson meets Steve “Fly Agaric” Pratt