By chance, Liam spotted a renovated 1850s cottage for sale in a small village called Chedgrave, ten miles southeast of Norwich. We went to see it. We liked it. We put in an offer. It was accepted. We put the micro-loft on the market. Our first viewer put in an offer. We accepted it. So we moved. Just like that.
We’d been thinking alot about our almost-final destination – the one before we get dragged kicking and screaming into a care home for the bed-wetting bewildered. For an age, tatty and batty Knaresborough in North Yorkshire was the odds-on favourite but after leading by a mile, it fell at the last fence. Why? Well, the town is so wonderful, nothing comes up. It seems no one leaves. And I can’t blame them.
Chedgrave is a small hamlet on the Chet, a river that forms part of the Norfolk Broads National Park. There isn’t much in Chedgrave – a church, a pub, a few shops. Fortunately, it’s twinned with Loddon, a pretty village with a lot more to offer. Both villages are on a fast bus route to Norwich so our regular city fix of stage and screen is assured.
We may be the only gays in the village. Will the village suit us? Will we suit the village? Will we get run out of town by an angry mob of red-faced, thick-set farm hands brandishing pitch forks? Will Liam join the WI and make strawberry jam? I’ll keep you posted.
Recently, my gig at Pride Live on Norwich’s Future Radio gave me the chance to chat with Nikolai Foster, the director of the 2013 revival of Jonathan Harvey’s ‘Beautiful Thing.’ What fun we had. Alas, I’ve never seen the play (I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time) but I have seen the Channel 4 film (over and over) and it’s as fresh today as it was when it was first released in 1996. At the time it was such a relief to watch a gay-themed drama that was about life and living rather than death and dying.
Beautiful Thing is currently playing at the Arts Theatre in the West End until 25th of May after which it goes on mini tour – Liverpool, Leeds and Brighton (sadly, not Norwich). Grab your ticket while you can.
To listen to the entire Pride Live podcast, click here.
Picture it, a sultry night in sinful Soho and a pink twist on an old family favourite. Our penthouse pals treated us to a night at the theatre – a much appreciated welcome home gift. We took our seats at the Soho Theatre, artistic home to the innovative, the avant garde, the experimental and, sometimes, the plain bonkers. The intimate auditorium has a steep incline providing an unobstructed view of the snug stage and the bald spots in the rows below. The entertainment was Soho Cinders, a modern fable fit for the Grindr age. Think grubby spin doctor oiling the wheels, angelic rent boy trying to make an honest crust, clip joint sisters in pussy pelmets and ‘straight’ Tory politician knocking off the pretty boy on the side. The only Buttons on show were the ones on the punters who couldn’t keep their flies shut. It was fabulous. The score was full of fun and pathos, the lyrics were comically topical and the performances were bouncy and vital. The salacious sisters got my vote for the best lines. From one ugly trollop to the other:
You’re like a ten pin bowling ball – picked up, fingered and thrown back down the alley.
Cinders went to the glittery Ball and the rubber johnny fitted, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘He’s behind you.’
I give you They Don’t Make Glass Slippers, one of the many splendid songs from the show.