Artist faces repair bill after axe attack on theatre stage

Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon uses an axe to attack the wall of a theatre to protest poor reviews after he staged his new play

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turner prize-winning artist who is directing a play at the Manchester international festival is faced with a repair bill after taking an axe to the walls of a new £25 million theatre.

Gordon, first axed then signed and dated the walls of the theatre on Saturday, the day after Neck of the Woods opened as part of the Manchester International Festival (MIF).

Douglas Gordon is an internationally successful artist who won the Turner Prize in 1996. He also won several prestigious international awards such as Venice Bienniale Premio, the Rencontres d’Arles and Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in the past.

However, his new play, “Neck of the Woods,” which is based on the children’s fable Little Red Riding Hood, has received bad reviews from the critics.

The Daily Telegraph reviewed his play saying "the unmistakable whiff of a vanity project with a script that simply isn't very good."

The Guardian described it as a "humourless and sedate Red Riding Hood, retelling that takes itself very seriously and is so old-fashioned you wonder if Gordon has any familiarity at all with contemporary theatre."

MIF artistic director, Alex Poots said: "We understand that one of our artists acted in a wholly inappropriate way on Saturday night, causing slight damage to the fabric of Home's new building. This is totally unacceptable, and the artist involved will be paying for repairs.”

He then added, "We do not support or condone reckless, inappropriate or intimidating behaviour and will work with our co-commissioning partners and artistic and producing teams to ensure that this doesn't happen again."

A spokesman for the artist’s studio declined to comment on the incident.

TRTWorld and agencies