John Rowley and Richard Huw Morgan have worked together for 31 years, initially with pioneering Welsh performance company Brith Gof, subsequently developing their own work as Das Wunden and since 1996 as good cop bad cop (gcbc)
gcbc’s output is characterised by the creation of new forms and contexts for performance, from the 15 minute improvisation on other peoples sets (Brody’s Notes 2008) to a Wales-wide, globally-broadcast alternative vocal talents search (Lleisiau 2014) to a weekly arts radio programme (Pitch 2011 – present). These are ideas constructed in “the real world” without the safety net of established form or specific audiences, for the “Imagined Communities” of a future Wales, within a wider global dialogue for how such concepts as nation, cultural practice and community are considered.
Our works are consciously on the verge of collapse… the performance of irrevocable acts and creative engagement with the consequences. Radically unfinished, what unfolds is never fixed or certain, it began long before you arrived and will end long after you leave. A field of items and activities, the notion of “finished” is absurd, decay is inevitable…today’s building site is tomorrow’s demolition project.
We made a strategic decision early on not to form a legal company with the non-artistic pressures and policy that entails. Rather, until 2015, we operated through, and made alliances with, other bodies, organisations and individuals, as and when necessary.
We have concentrated on making work in Wales, for both domestic and export presentation, but in an experimental European performance tradition that was present when we began our careers, largely thanks to Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre. However, times have changed and the climate has changed.
Recently the performance scene in Wales has split firmly into (mainly) mono-lingual theatre (be it Welsh or English) and dance, leaving little infrastructural support and expertise that was once available for experimental practice, as an ongoing process of inquiry, discussion and presentation, both domestically and internationally. It is time for us to find a new way forward, to make new alliances, find new partners and create new opportunities.
To enable us to advance these aims and objectives for the advancement of Welsh performance in an international context we established good cop bad cop as a legal partnership in 2015.