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Book: Ivor Cutler

Chapter: A Life of Whimsical Fantasies

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42537


From the 1950s to the 1980s, Ivor combined teaching with his career as a performer, writer and broadcaster. This chapter explores the early years of his career as a performer, a career that began with an apparently disastrous nightclub appearance before going on to encompass records, radio, television and movies, thanks to the intervention of music publishers Box & Cox and BBC producer Ned Sherrin. Ivor was not yet a poet, he was dismissive of his early attempts at poetry: he did not take poetry seriously until much later and reported that it took seven years before he produced poems he considered worthy of “professional” status. Others, including Sherrin, took a more optimistic view of Ivor’s talents and he made his first broadcasts in the late 1950s, establishing a reputation as a performer “whose fantasies tend to the whimsical.”

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