Photo: Emma Jones
Adam Carver is a Midlands-based producer, performer and cultural activist. He is the 2020 Jerwood Bursary Recipient, was Festival Director for SHOUT from 2016-2020 and is producer for Ginny Lemon’s Palaver. I saw the great Fantabulosa! show they did at the Birmingham Museum and Gallery just before lockdown, a thrilling queer positive performance piece for children and family audiences. He has also worked as an independent producer for most of the local institutions: Dance X-Change, The Hippodrome, Canterbury Junction etc.
I wanted to talk to Adam to find out how lockdown had affected him personally as a performer but also get his views on how the pandemic has affected queer arts in the Midlands, the infrastructure for live performance in Birmingham and his own transgressive transformation into Fatt Butcher, a sublime and edgy excursion into drag that brings in Disco, Comedy, and Bingo whilst also being a political intervention against shame.
The raison-d’être of the discussion is me just wanting to have a better understanding of what’s been happening in the Midlands, and few are better placed to be as informative as Adam. But this is is also an attempt to circulate some of these issues (why did people get so upset about the Birmingham REP being turned into a Nightingale Court? How are funding structures not designed to include young queer artists? Are queer artists under-represented in the city’s cultural institutions? How does a performer make a living when all performance venues are shut? How has Adam’s own practice been affected by the Pandemic? How might the Midlands be considered Geographically Queer?). Lastly, I’ve been agog with admiration at the development of Adam’s alter ego, a new persona as Fatt Butcher, and I wanted to find out more about how that had come to be and how the persona had developed.
The discussion can be listened to here:
I hope you find it as interesting and informative as I have. If you do, please circulate. We need to hear more from artists and producers about what’s been happening here in Birmingham and the Midlands and how to improve what to many has been a perilous situation.
Photo: Emma Jones
Track: Adam Carver & Exit Recording