In the UK and looking for something to do in a couple of weeks? Gotcha covered.
The Prisoner, the series about a spy who resigns his top secret government position only to wake up in a mysterious village from which there is no escape, has intrigued viewers the world over and has managed to turn “I am not a number, I am a free man!” into one of the most known ‘insider’ catchphrases of all time. In addition, no British television program or series has inspired as many musicians as The Prisoner.
Head to north Wales on 14-16 September as cult telly and musician inspiration collide for Festival No. 6 (self described as a festival like no other in a place like no other). In addition, Six of One, the official Prisoner Appreciation Society, will be on hand to help festival-goers re-enact classic scenes from the series, including the human chess game and the processions. and help solidify the rich history of the Patrick McGoohan creations hold over British rock and pop. In addition to an amazing line-up of music, festival-goers will get the chance to take part in cinema screenings, street theatre, prose and poetry readings, midnight masquerades, cliff-top comedy stages, secret parties, impromptu interactive moments and even participate in cultural lectures and debates.
The Times, a British independent band featuring Ed Ball, with ‘I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape’
“McGoohan was a forerunner of punk. Like the very best works of art, The Prisoner has its own fatalism built into it. You can never escape. McGoohan seemed to have the compass right with his ideas about love, hate, good and evil. We wanted to deify him. ‘I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape’ was the ballad of The Prisoner in a three-minute pop song, short and sweet, and to the point. We knew how private he was but we heard whispers through Six of One. He seemed to benignly acknowledge the record’s existence,” recalls Ball. “Pre-internet, we were lucky that the Scala, the cinema in London’s King’s Cross, started screening episodes of The Prisoner and Danger Man. They used to play our record in between.”
“The Prisoner is a force of nature which touches people. Once you have watched the whole series, you are never the same again. If you are a spiritual person, it becomes part of your belief system,” stresses Ball who is currently overseeing a 12″ vinyl reissue of the I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape album – credited to The Times – “incorporating a Monopoly board based on Portmeirion.”
Ball went on to further solidify the link between the series and music by revealing that even The Beatles recognized the genius of The Prisoner as not only did Beatles manager Brian Epstein go to ‘the Village’ in Portmeirion to relax, but the mad fanfare of “All You Need Is Love” was used to astounding effect during the cryptic “Fall Out” conclusion of the series, the only time a Beatles song was licensed to a TV show.
Festival No.6 with Richard Hawley, Jessie Ware, New Order, Primal Scream and Spiritualized is at Portmeirion, north Wales, 14-16 September. If you go, let your eyes be like cameras and send back photos for us to post. #jealous