The Eurovision Drinking Game. Wasted by Albania; Hospitalised by the Final Douze Points…

Derek
May 9, 2016

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Yes, it’s that time of year.

Tomorrow, the Eurovision Song Contest Starts. Or, as I like to think of it. The Gay Hajj.

Like the Hajj, it involves going to countries you’ve never ordinarily been anywhere near, enduring hours of tedium in the hope of a religious ecstacy / handjob from a Moldovan backing dancer and potentially lethal crowd control issues.

Unlike the Hajj, this one comes with it’s own Drinking Game.

I’ve practiced this one for several years, and hospitalised several of my friends – who would have voted for Bosnia, so fuck ‘em – in the process, so here you go:

Derek’s Eurovision Drinking Game

Line em up, folks….

Continue reading The Eurovision Drinking Game. Wasted by Albania; Hospitalised by the Final Douze Points…

All-Male H.M.S. Pinafore – Reviewed

Derek
May 2, 2016

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All-Male H.M.S. Pinafore

Hackney Empire

Saturday 30th April 2016

5stars

There’s a tradition, particularly in British schools, of same-sex productions of the works of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.

Generations of boys and girls have blasted out “Three little maids,” “A policeman’s lot,” and “I’m called little buttercup” in school gymnasia, village halls and scout huts over the years.

But Sasha Reagan and the team at the Union Theatre in London’s Southwark have taken this concept and, over the past decade or so, refined it into a unique art form.

To date, they’ve produced all-male versions of The Mikado, Iolanthe The Pirates of Penzance and – now- of HMS Pinafore.

The production, this time, takes place in the bowels of a warship in World War II, meaning that, for the first time this viewer recalls, the all-male aspect is not simply accepted, but justified as the piece is turned, effectively, into a play-within-a-play. A step which, whilst it adds a touch of nostalgic melancholy – the sailors, awaiting battles that they may not survive, removed from their loved ones, and reliant on each other to a level that breaks down the traditional British reserve – isn’t entirely necessary.

Continue reading All-Male H.M.S. Pinafore – Reviewed

Songs From The Marq

Derek
December 19, 2015

Death of a Diva is available now. To buy it, click here.

You can also send it as a personalised Gift E-Book here.

I write in noise. My mother used to tell anyone who cared to listen that, as a child, I was incapable of enduring silence, and that – with the arrival of the domestic stereophonic headphone in the seventies and the personal Walkman in the eighties – I was able only to read, write and think, whilst I had the counterpoint of TV, records, another book, or a selection of pickles on a plate.

And I still need counterpoint today. Here is how I write: I watch, I listen, I think “What if,” or “I wish I’d said… ” followed, immediately, by “Jesus, what would have happened if I’d said…” Because I don’t write. I tell stories. And when I sit down in silence and wait for stories, nothing happens.

When I was a kid, my family had music that went from “My Fair Lady” via “Elvis Gold,” “Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake,” numerous Andy Williams records, and vinyl by Dinah Washington Francoise Hardy Nancy Sinatra, Diana Ross and her Motown cohorts and on into ABBA, The Human League and many of the best 80’s recording artistes.

Our family soundtrack was melodic, lyrical, and tuneful. And it told stories.

And I write – I tell – stories with music ever present.

Continue reading Songs From The Marq