Like cliched buses, I appear to have confirmed no less than three performances in London over one short period. Plus a radio interview.
Saturday November 27th
At 1.30pm GMT I shall be chatting about my world and works as a guest of Mr Jefferson on RARE FM, the London student radio station. I think one can listen to it on the Internet. More details about the station here
Then in the evening I shall be appearing at an event called Mildmay Cabaret: A Special Occasion. Mildmay Club, 34 Newington Green, N16 9PR. Buses: from Angel, 73, 476, 341; from Finsbury Park, 236; from Liverpool Street, 141.
“A dazzling night with over 15 local and international cabaret acts, musical, burlesque, comedy, cigar girls, to capture classic 1920s Berlin in this beautiful 1880s theatre.” I’m going on last performing some kind of spoken word piece written during the rest of the show, based on my observations and thoughts of the night. A kind of blogging without computers. Doors 7pm. Tickets £7 / £5. For more details, contact Mr Kevin Quigley at email@example.com or 07951 077661.
Monday November 29th
Mr Edwards Presents Mr Jerome K Jerome at The Boogaloo, 312 Archway Road, London N6 5AA. Onstage 9pm. I shall be reading from the new edition of Jerome K Jerome's classic of Victorian observational comedy, The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow. This edition is published by Snowbooksand regular readers will recall the book includes a brief Afterword from myself. There should be copies to buy on the night. An ideal gift for that difficult fop in your life. Or even your mother. Or in my case, an ideal gift for difficult fops in my life, my mother AND my landlady. In line with the “Vox N Roll” rules, I’ll be punctuating my short readings with a selection of chosen music. A kind of DJ-ing with literature and records. Free entry.
The previous performer at this venue was a Mr Conor Oberst of a band called Bright Eyes who I’m told have recently made Number One and Number Two in the USA Billboard charts simultaneously. Very nice of him to warm up for me.
Tuesday November 30th
I shall perform some of Mr Quentin Crisp's words at something called the Hanky Panky Kabarett. This is organised by Mr Xavior, he of the band DexDexter and slightly of the band Placebo, and who is also in that Placebo-related band in the film Velvet Goldmine. The event takes place 9pm-Midnight at Bistrotheque, 23-27 Wadeson Street, London E2. Tel: 020 8983 7900. For more details, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hmm, yet another Hackney art cabaret. Something must be in the water.
In indie music news, I see that the band Gene have decided to split up, with their last ever concert at the Astoria in December. I’m rather interested in going – Mr Rossiter the singer does have a certain something, and they were one of the more interesting groups from that dreaded Britpop slipstream. Elsewhere, The Wedding Present have reformed, and have just released their first single in 7 years. What can it all mean?
Mr Eddie N tells me he has found the edition of Italian Vogue featuring the photoshoot of various Kash Point club boys organised especially for the magazine. It appears very few of the people who turned up made the actual piece. The outraged shrieks of sundry men in make-up fill the London air. I too have been cruelly omitted from the magazine. Still, Mr Warboy was also at the shoot, and took a few photos of his own. They can be found here. The photo accompanying this entry is from that day. My buttonhole is an onion flower.
Coming in 2005 to a book emporium near you is this little effort. I’m not inside, but I am on the cover. Regular readers will know the genesis of this photo. My companion is Ms Anne Pigalle. The lobster is called Susan.
Some details, from the Dedalus Books catalogue:
I would have lost my wager: the back of the box for the Olsen twins' "Winning London" doesn't have a Big Ben on it after all. I try to put the film on in the shop, but Ms Welch isn't having it. She suggests I watch it at home, but I'm not THAT curious. Instead, I plump for renting the DVD of "A Canterbury Tale", the lesser-known Powell and Pressburger film.
Troy.Two and a half hours of aesthetically pleasing men in skirts and sandals, but the script is more wooden than the horse. No excuse, given Mr Homer is the father of storytelling. Mr Sean Bean is given too little to do as Odysseus. The battle scenes are all very epic, but not quite up to the standard of the Lord Of The Rings films. Given her reputation, Helen of Troy's beauty is rather ordinary – a face that bored a thousand CGI ships. Hector's wife, played by Ms Saffron Burrows, is far more striking, and one gets the sensation young Mr Bloom is far more in love with his lipbalm. Still, when this film came out at the cinemas, I spotted many people on public transport suddenly reading The Iliad. So Troy is ultimately redeemable.
Yesterday I received a cut to my eyebrow, courtesy of being hit in the face by a Disney video that had toppled from a high shelf. "101 Dalmatians 2: Patch's London Adventure". Yes, it does feature a cartoon Big Ben on the front sleeve. And a red double-decker bus on the back. Straight to video, to Mr Edwards's forehead, to Whittington Hospital's Casualty ward. Which in itself sounds like a creation of a hasty kid flick set in "Londonshire".
I was given a tetanus injection just in case. You can't be too careful with attacks from singing cartoon dogs.
<p>In the waiting room, I muse upon a strange affliction that movie producers have suffered lately.
<p>It appears to go like this. While planning the sequel to a previously successful children's film, and ideas are thin on the ground, take the characters on a cliched tourist trip to London. Make sure Big Ben is on the sleeve. And, if possible, a dog.
If no dog is available, see if a former member of S Club 7 has any space in her diary.
<img width=300 src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000764FF.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg"></img><img width=300 src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0002I834U.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg"></img><img width=300 src="http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00022FWTA.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg"></img>
My Beefeater hat is raised, however, to the designer of the box for the Olsen Twins' inevitable offering. Incredibly, Big Ben is nowhere in sight:
I'll wager it's featured on the back, though.
It's certainly on the film's <a href="http://www.winninglondon.com/" target="_blank"> website,</a> where one can "get the 'how-tos' on having a funky London party."
Another sample quote from the site: "Vivian is London's rock and roll designer. She takes traditional English garb and makes it her own. She has suited up a load of celebs including the kind of punk Johnny Rotten."
On my streetwalking rounds, a black woman in the passenger seat of a passing car makes loud kissing noises at me. Then, as I glance in her direction, she shouts back "NOT REALLY!".
Which gesture do I believe? In a matter of seconds she has introduced herself to me as a liar, after all. The sad clown takes any affection, even joke affection. It's all a big joke. It's all so serious.
I want to follow her and ask her questions. Why the kisses, then why the disclaimer? What does she want me to think? I think far too much about the incident and what it means, what it says about her, about me, about people in cars, about the world. Perhaps she would respond, "I was just having a laugh". I want to know everything about her. I take everything extremely seriously, especially jokes and sarcasm and what people mean EXACTLY when they say they're "having a laugh". I want to put the entire cast of the half-hearted TV impersonation programme Dead Ringers in an interrogation chamber. Too much of the world's laughter is nervous laughter.
Weds of last week – Boogaloo movie quiz. Present in my team this time are Mr White, Mr Lawrence Gullo, Dr Dave Kennedy, Ms Anna Spivack, Ms Lucy Madison, and Ms Madison's companion Mr Dale Shaw. I rather liked the latter's early 90s band Blood Sausage and his comic strips, but I think this is the first time I've spoken to him properly. He's affable and charming, and even apologises for wearing trainers. He also knows a lot of the answers: it transpires he's worked in a well-stocked San Francisco video shop.
The quiz seems harder than ever, though I am pleased to be able to spot a song from "Xanadu". We mistake Jonathan Pryce's singing voice from Evita for Mr Bowie in Absolute Beginners. Mr White retold a scene from "Kentucky Fried Movie" rather well, after a question arose featuring titles of the spoof films within that film. But could we name the other female lead in Lost In Translation? Could we name the new film starring Mr Robocop from its trailer? Could we Hellboy.
Celebrity questions this time came from, as they unkindly described, "borderline celebrity Har Mar Superstar" and "Giovanni Whatisiname with the odd face". The medic in Saving Private Ryan. You know.
One of the bar staff I'd not spoken to before said I looked like Dorian Gray. I do hope she meant the character rather than the painting. A man asked to take my photo by phone, and I obliged. A woman came over and complimented me on my lilies. The flowers were a bit too fresh this time, with not enough open petals for my liking. As the evening wore on, though, a few of the closed buds were beginning to open, so clearly the quiz was good for them. Perhaps it was the Xanadu question.
<b>Connie and Carla</b>. Starring Ms Toni Collette and the woman who wrote and starred in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, plus Mr David Duchovny and Ms Debbie Reynolds. The eponymous ladies are struggling cabaret singers, who hide from criminals by disguising themselves as drag queens. Their new act in disguise is, of course, a hit – the innovation being drag queens singing rather than miming. Ms Collette, with her strong jaw and talent for camp clumsiness evinced so well in Muriel's Wedding, adopts far more easily to passing as a drag queen than her more indelibly girlish companion. Which is a shame, as it's the latter who gets the romantic subplot with Mr Duchovny. When watching the scenes where Mr Ex-X-Files finds himself curiously attracted to his overdressed friend, it's hard not to shout "it's so obviously a real woman, Mr David! Are you blind?".
The film's conceits aren't particularly original. In reality, there's plenty of showtune drag acts who sing rather than lip-synch – springing to mind is the wigged-up Barbra Streisand impersonator who's put out his own albums in character. Also, the comic potential of women dressing as men dressing as singing women has already been brought memorably to celluloid by Ms Julie Andrews in the Blake Edwards film, Victor Victoria. Connie and Carla is no "Adventures Of Priscilla…", but for an easy ride through well-researched drag queen make-up tips, frocks and showtunes, it's enjoyable enough.
Mr Bush Junior gets a second term as President. I spit blood at the news.
Tonight, I shall be drowning my sorrows captaining my team at the <a href="http://www.biggerboat-filmquiz.co.uk" target="_blank">Boogaloo Movie Quiz</a> with the usual lilies and whichever beautiful friends can make it.
Here's a photo from the last one, which rather captures my life at the moment: the two people I see most often. Ms Welch, who I spend time with at my Slight Job. Mr Gullo, The Houseboy in my Slight Social Life. Blurred photo by Mr Hupfield of the quiz people.