From a collection of political ephemera. A note attached to an ordinary paper bag which was intended as a sick bag. A protest at a performance at the Royal Festival Hall in 1968 The arts and censorship : a Gala Evening concerning depravity and corruption. Put on by 'The National Council for Civil Liberties and Defence of Literature and the Arts Society', this was a performance involving, among others, Alexander Trocchi and Samuel Beckett. It was compered by George Melly and with contributions, performance, material or both by John Mortimer, Roger McGough, The Scaffold, Larry Adler, Fritz Spiegl, Edward Bond, Willie Rushton, Marty Feldman, Barry Took, Billie Whitelaw, Christopher Logue, Adrian Mitchell, Sheila Hancock, Tom Lehrer, Ann Firbank, Paul Jones, William Burroughs, Bertolt Brecht & Dame Peggy Ashcroft.
Copies of the programme are to be found in distinguished American libraries with the vomit bag and statement laid in. The cover for the night's programme was by Alan Aldridge and his poster for the event is shown below.
The National Front is a far right UK political party. In the 2010 general election they garnered 0.6% of the vote.
VOMIT IS VALID!
This paper bag is presented to you with the compliments of
****THE NATIONAL FRONT****
We are sure that the most 'avant-garde', pseudo-communist, drug addicted sex perverts will feel impelled to vomit before the evening's exhibition of "corruption and depravity" is over.
But don't waste your vomit by throwing it at the performers. Instead, store your vomit in the paper bag and give it to Mr John Caldar will Miss Marian Boyars as you leave. These well-known "publishers" will welcome your personal contribution to their forthcoming book : "Gillie de Retz - Saint, Social Reformer and Martyr."
Thank you for your co-operation.
Printed and published by the National Front 11 Palace Chambers, Bridge Street, London SW1.
There is no trace of the Calder and Boyars book and it appears not to have been published.
Gilles de Montmorency-Laval (also known as Gilles de Retz or Gilles de Rais) (1404–1440), Baron de Rais, was a Breton knight, a leader in the French army and a companion-in-arms of Joan of Arc.
From 1427 to 1435, he served as a commander in the Royal Army, and fought alongside Joan of Arc against the English and their Burgundian allies during the 100 Years' War, for which he was appointed Marshal of France.
In 1434/1435, he retired from military life, depleted his wealth by staging an extravagant theatrical spectacle of his own composition and dabbled in the occult. After 1432 Gilles engaged in a series of child murders, his victims possibly numbering in the hundreds.
He is believed to be the inspiration for the 1697 fairy tale "Bluebeard" by Charles Perrault. His life is the subject of several modern novels, and referenced in a number of rock bands' albums and songs.