On Saturday 21 November, Nottingham Playhouse will be one of the locations for Excavate Theatre’s But I Know This City! a Nottingham-wide mass community reading of B.S. Johnson’s 1969 novel The Unfortunates, which forms part of the Being Human Festival.
The Unfortunates is an internal monologue by a man who has been sent to an unnamed city to report on a football match. During his time in this city he remembers and reflects on previous visits here to see a friend who has since died of cancer. The city, clearly identified through its detailed description of landmarks, streets, restaurants and pubs, is Nottingham.
The Unfortunates is best known as being the “book in a box”. Of its separately binded 27 chapters, only First and Last are titled. The 25 other chapters can be shuffled and read in any order. On Saturday 21 November But I Know This City! will begin and end at The Lounge in Broadway Cinema, where the First and Last chapters will be read at various times. In between hearing these, you are free to go to any or all of the other 24 locations, of which Nottingham Playhouse is one, to hear as many of the other chapters as you wish. Most of the chapters are between 2 and 7 minutes in length, and none are longer than 10.
For more information about times for the reading of the First and Last chapter, and the other locations hosting But I Know This City, visit the Excavate Theatre website here. The Being Human Festival site can be found here.