Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Cov Market successes

For the first time in ages I'm sitting down to write this blog at my actual computer, rather than typing it in letter-by-letter on my iPhone. It's remarkable how much quicker the process seems, yet how much less I'm thinking about the content of what I'm writing!

Nathan is out. He's gone to a decadent lock-in at a yarn shop in East London. For anyone else this would be a metaphor for something well-dodgy, but I assure you that he's simply gone there to knit... And maybe gossip. The good news is that his epic double-knit shawl, which took him six months to make, is now off the needles, and looking mighty fine!

I read a remarkably moving blog post today.  It's written by a man who lived in the shadow of AIDS in New York throughout the 1980s, and is a lesson to all of us who whinge and moan about our lives. It is almost impossible to imagine what the gay community endured in that particular decade. To begin with no one even knew what was happening; they simply knew that fit, young gay men were dying. They were rumours to start with, then friends of friends, and eventually entire friendship groups. Imagine that happening now? The chilling paragraph comes towards the end, "the numbers of those we lost to the disease seemed uncountable. And they were, because so many had died in silence or worse, in hiding. Not only had they suffered unthinkable pain, they had endured it in shame."

It puts my mild cold into perspective, that's for sure! I allowed myself a little lie-in all the same, and then worked from the sofa for most of the day. I did lots of piddling things. I started another Arts Council application, I did some invoices, I tried to fix a computer, I removed myself from hundreds of spam email mailing lists, possibly in the process signing myself up for thousands more...

The highlight of the day was a meeting in Kentish Town with Uncle Archie and the team at Wingspan. We were talking about a potential project which has been rattling around for a few months now. It's one of those ideas which I'm desperate to happen. Strangely, it's often these projects which actually come to fruition. I say strangely because we all know that the universe thrives on irony and the destruction of dreams, but every once in a while passion burns through the icy exterior of the money people. I always knew that A1: The Road Musical, for example, would be made, as I knew that the London Requiem, 100 Faces and Oranges and Lemons would all come to fruition. Sometimes an idea is just too bonkers to be ignored. The films I've been commissioned to make by others have often turned out to be slightly less successful. I try my absolute hardest to make them work, but perhaps there's always that missing piece in the jigsaw that we call passion. I think, as a result, the people I know who write and create simply for money often don't see a great deal of artistic success. I've known a few people in my time who reckon they've cracked the formula for their particular branch of the arts and subsequently never had another hit!

Talking of previous successes, I keep seeing people from Coventry Market: The Musical on shows like The Voice. One of them, a girl called Letitia (but spelt in a silly way), is already through to Ricky's last twelve, and I'm told to expect the lovely Karl Frasnek to make an appearance this coming Saturday. I'm pretty sure they'll say no to him. He has a remarkable voice, but they always turn down the musical theatre performers in favour of those with a "vibe" who can't sing in tune. Some of the greatest West End performers have slipped through the net on The Voice, and indeed the X Factor. Of course they never show their auditions on telly because they know the viewing audiences will complain. One day I'll write down everything I know about the desperate manipulation which goes on behind the scenes in these talent shows. If anyone lifted the lid on their practices, we'd never watch them again! Or maybe we'd just all rather live in ignorant bliss...


  1. Thanks so much for your kind words and for re-blogging my post. And now I have found YOU!

    1. It's so fabulous for me to read about your adventures in NYC, which is undoubtedly my favourite city in the world. When I'm not being loyal to London of course.

      My generation need to be grateful to your generation for dealing with the shit of homophobia and HIV Aids so that we didn't have to.

      Much has changed for gay men in my 40 years on this planet. Had I been ten years older I suspect I would not be alive to be writing this. I remember the panic though, and the self-loathing and the obsessive periods of checking for glands and feeling that, if I were HIV positive it would be my fault and people would hate me. And then suddenly we were equal (in this country at least.) And I could marry the man I've loved for twelve years. And everyone was telling us what a fabulous this this was! Quite extraordinary really.