Beowulf and the Beeblebrox Company

“Private enterprise is irrepressible.”
Doctor Who and the Leisure Hive by David Fisher

The oldest recorded work of English literature is fan fiction. Stories of the mighty Beowulf were altered and expanded round the feast fires so often that by the time someone wrote them down, the original author or authors were long gone. Stories and their audiences have always formed an intermingled community.

Nowadays, businesses must draw lines to serve and protect working writers but art will always inspire art in many of us. The modern myths that most unite us are invariably produced and distributed by media goliaths like the BBC, makers of Doctor Who. The more widely art is spread in franchises however, the more fan effort is exerted in the periphery.

Derivative art can be a fleeting pastime. Amateur artists usually grow to express themselves more fully or they move on to other occupations. Fan works are also of varying quality; the Beeblebrox Company shows here on 26 are no exception. As with other forms of celebration, the fun of this folk art was revelled in by its participants but may not transmit fully to audiences.

Don't let the unfamiliar faces put you off, however; it's old friends they're performing for you. Meeting these shows partway with your imagination is what's being asked of you in lieu of your pocket money.

Art blossoms within us in many ways. In fan labour, we've let such gardens grow beyond the walls of our minds. We're irrepressible.