From early on in my career, I got into creating my own posters for my shows. I liked and still like the idea of a complete 'holistic' approach to the craft.
You write the play, then you create the visual advert that the public sees, and then you light the play yourself and direct it - thus ensuring that if it works, there’s only yourself to quietly pat on the back. And if it screws up, it’s your fault too. I always like those odds. That roll of the dice and trust in ones own vision.
Poster creation was a whole saga in of itself, back in those heady days of the 1980’s. There were few computers, no internet, and I had to rely on using print shops to enlarge the various aspects of my posters that I’d scribbled or drawn out, and then literally cut and pasted them into something approaching what I wanted.
Being a Sergio Aragones fan (the cartoonist responsible for the ‘line drawings’ in Mad Magazine) I’d got into creating tiny artworks, which then got painstakingly blown up, or which lived in corners of my posters, just for the hell of it.
Bear in mind that this sequence of poster art, is ‘approximate’ in many ways. My career WASN’T as sequential as it may appear. I was often doing multiple ‘careers’ which overlapped as each took my interest more deeply - starting off as a ‘poet’, then slowly becoming a ‘playwright’ and also a ‘comedian’ - so although I’m presenting the posters and representing them as if I consciously went from A to B to C, that isn’t what happened. More often than not, I was chaotically creating material and moving forward as best I could see how - without any overall perspective or plan.
My career more or less began as an onstage ‘poet’ - doing ranting verse poetry interspersed with my own idle thoughts. So after a baptism of fire in various clubs, live concerts and political rallies in front of tens of thousands - I stumbled into the relatively more sedate and better-behaved world of Theater.
I had enough material to create a ’show’ - so the first poster I ever put together, featured a blow up of a photograph of me in action on stage, giving the audience the finger and ranting forth. As a poster it only ‘accidentally’ works, in its accidental punkish roughness - the combination of various images and attitudes, and of course the much appreciated critics reviews and comments.
The circular ‘face’ logo which I’d been graffiti’ing around town, and using in various ways, can be seen in its early form, just above the ‘bringing civilization to the barbarians’ slogan.