Sunday, 18 December 2016

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL 2016

This year's Christmas Special is again introduced by Roger A. Destroyer and includes performances by The Black Thumbnail and Mr Merryweather QC.

The name of Roger A Destroyer is a real name found in a book of real names. Initially,  Roger wrote letters to the two friends whose book it was. He was conceived as an ex-army officer who lived with a bad-tempered, jealous wife who constantly hen-pecked him. He then began to use a computer for the first time and now he is the permanent host of the Easter and Christmas shows.

The character of the Black Thumbnail came about as a consequence of me trapping my thumb in the back door which left me with a bruised thumb the nail of which went black - I wanted him to be the most wicked of wicked men. As with a lot of my characters, he was developed through improvisation. He is the favourite character of a friend of mine who called me once to say that he and his wife would be passing my door later and asked if they could pop in to say hello. I said of course they could and got myself togged up as the Black Thumbnail to welcome them when they came to the door. About ten minutes later, the doorbell rang and I opened the door but it wasn't them! It was another friend, calling on the off chance, and when she saw me she said "Oh!?!" at which I ripped my false moustache off and explained that I was expecting someone else.

As for Mr Merryweather, I had always wanted to do such person ever since I saw a white wig on a stall at a car boot sale. It was quite expensive so I hesitated and didn't buy it and then went back to the sale a week later but the stall wasn't there. Eventually, I found a similar wig in a costume shop and wrote the first story in rhyme and managed to memorise it.

See film - https://vimeo.com/195273865

Monday, 7 March 2016

LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD

George Harrison
Yes, I know that George died almost fifteen years ago but a few days ago, I watched ''Living in the Material World'', the documentary about him made by Martin Scorsese and so he is very much in my thoughts. It is a wonderful story because he was really just an ordinary guy but he discovered that there was something more and maybe that "something'' is what I have been looking for over the last ten years since my diagnosis and I hope that, in the course of that search, I have not upset too many people or caused them too much anguish. I have always, certainly in recent times, believed that no-one should ever feel guilt. I suppose there are exceptions to that like Adolf Hitler and his ilk for example. What I am saying is that human beings not only have a huge capacity for love and compassion but also they also have weaknesses and, although I do think we should all aspire to be as worthy and kind and caring as possible, we must not beat ourselves over the head with guilt if we don't always measure up to the high standards which we have set ourselves or which we perceive have been laid down by 'Society'.

In the documentary, George's wife, Olivia, talks of George as a husband but does not go into any detail but clearly he strayed a fair bit as she says he was very attractive to and attracted by women but she goes on to say that people ask "What is the secret of a long marriage?" - "Don't get divorced" is her reply. And later, after describing the evening when they were attacked in their home by an intruder, they talked a lot and he said to her "I hope I have been a good husband" and she says "I hope I have been a good wife".

These are just snippets from the film but it is well worth watching. I think at this time, it has had a profound effect on me. I have just completed the project "Take me with you" with Clare Best and I am in the middle of another bout of cellulitis and so my mortality is very much on my mind. George spent the last twenty or so years of his life preparing for his death and his wife said that, when he thought he could have been killed by the intruder that night, he said with such defiance that he wasn't going to allow anyone to interfere with his preparations. Towards the end of the film, there was a very poignant moment.  George spent his last days in Switzerland and Ringo Starr went to visit him and said that all George could do was lie on his bed. Ringo's daughter was at that time in Boston and was suffering with a brain tumour and so Ringo explained to George that he had to go and George replied (and these were his last words to his friend) "Would you like me to come with you?"