Artist apologises for Raoul Moat play

Mark McGowan's controversial one man play was based on Raoul Moat's final hours Photo: Spoonfed/Beverley Knowles

A performance artist has apologised after making a play about killer Raoul Moat for the Deptford X festival.

Mark McGowan, 37, played the part of a newsreader, policemen and Moat in his show, ‘The Re-enactment of the Assassination of Raoul Moat’.

The artist wore a cardboard box on his head with a photograph of Raoul Moat sellotaped to the front of it and held beneath his chin two bits of tied-together curtain pole as a pretend gun. He told the story from Raoul’s perspective.

Mr McGowan said Moat shot policeman David Rathband because he was a victim who needed to escape capture.

He told The Sun: “He was a victim. The whole thing was like a Shakespearean tragedy.”

He performed the one man show in front of 300 people at the festival, which is funded by four bodies including the lottery through the arts council.

Mr McGowan said: “I would not want to upset anybody and if my play has caused anyone any unnecessary grief I am sorry. I am an artist and this is just an interpretation of the event, just like all the other ones played out in the media.”

He added: “As an artist it is my responsibility to be a witness to my times. I don’t want to paint nice landscape pictures, I found the whole Raoul Moat incident a tragedy and wanted to seriously look into what happened and why.”

PC Rathband, who survived being blasted in the face said he and his family would not be going to see the show.

A Victim Support spokesman said: “ It can be viewed as being in bad taste especially so soon after the events. It can be very upsetting for everybody involved.”

Deptford X were given an opportunity to comment, but have not yet responded.

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