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Tzara's Dada Manifesto

Comedian Arthur Smith presents a suitably dadaesque account of Tristan Tzara's Dada Manifesto. He reflects on the seriousness of the dadaists' project and their use of comedy.

How great artists and thinkers responded to the horrors of the First World War in individual works of art.

2.Stand-Up comedian Arthur Smith presents a suitably Dada-esque account of Tristan Tzara's Dada Manifesto.

Arthur Smith has long been fascinated by the Dada movement, which began one hundred years ago in 1915. His interest was re-ignited by a recent visit to the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, where Tzara - a French writer and performance artist of Romanian-Jewish descent - first came to prominence. This visit led him to reflect both on the seriousness of the dadists' project - as a protest against the meaningless horrors of the First World War - and on their use of comedy to express their ideas.

Juxtaposing the Dada Manifesto with his thoughts on that most conventional of War poets, Rupert Brooke, Arthur Smith's comic and thought-provoking Essay is a document of which Tristan Tzara himself - had he been a radio broadcaster - would have been proud.

Producer: Beaty Rubens.

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15 minutes

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