September 29, 2020

The Public Execution of Pop Stars is a Forty Second Play by Tenzing Scott Brown.

The Public Execution of Pop Stars has been written in response to the writer Nick Duerden requesting an interview with Bill Drummond for a proposed book. A book about “how singers and musicians navigate their life after the first flush of fame; how they endure, reinvent themselves, and keep life interesting for themselves.”

This request came in late April 2020, at the height of the first wave of the global pandemic. This request sparked off a brief flurry of emails between Nick Duerden and Bill Drummond.

It is now the early Autumn of the same year. The second wave is threatening.

What follows is the Forty Second Play written by Tenzing Scott Brown in response to this request. As a play it has been much informed by the previous Forty Second Play, There Is An After Life.

Two women, deep into their middle years, dressed in black and white, polka-dot dresses and red ribbons in their hair enter the stage. They are carrying guitars. They face the audience – a worldwide audience. And in unison they recite the following lines:

“We are Strawberry Switchblade.

We exist to confront the world with certain truths.

It has been brought to our attention that mankind is the only life form on earth that is hardwired to destroy each other. And in turn destroy themselves.

This hardwiring must be unwired, if mankind is to survive.


We propose a departure from the tried and tested forms of self-destruction.

A departure that will celebrate Pop Music as the most vibrant and wonderful art form that has ever existed and ever will exist.

We propose that any future Pop Singer or Pop Group of any past, present or future genre, that has had a top forty record, and then follows it up with a record that fails to make the top forty will be taken to a designated public space and executed in front of the people. The failed Pop Singer or Pop Group will be given the choice of a noose hanging from a gallows or a razor sharp guillotine.

It is this course of action that will truly celebrate Pop Music as the most vibrant and wonderful art form that has ever existed and ever will exist.

Thank you.”


Strawberry Switchblade, then pick up their guitars and start to sing their song Trees & Flowers.

And the audience will then compare and contrast the beauty of this song with the power of theatre to impact social change as opposed to merely entertain.