Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Soho Theatre - Dandy in the Underworld 08/07/2010

....‘I have invested ninety percent of my money on prostitutes, the rest on Class A Drugs, the remains I squandered’.....

I had, after arriving at the very last minute in a completely sweaty mess, pleasure of seeing this performance about the now-late Sebastian Horsley at the Soho Theatre which was being captioned in house. I haven't laughed in a theatre as much as I have that evening for quite some time. Sebastian was brilliantly portrayed by Milo Twomey, in almost the spitting image.

It's just a one man show, set in Sebastian's living room as he tells everyone about his past as well as waiting for one of his friends to take him to "Clarreeeeeeedddges" for dinner, who in turn fails to show and sends him some sunflowers as an apology instead (Sunflowers being Sebastian's favourite flower). Sebastian Horsley was a latter day dandy, known throughout Soho, a very, very colourful character and now very much sadly missed. He took no shit from anyone, dressed how the hell he liked, consumed copious amounts of class A drugs and was very sexually promiscuous, to the point where one of the woman in attendance at his funeral told the press reporter she was probably the only woman there that he hadn't shagged!

Never shying away from (self) publicity he told things as they were. The show has brilliantly written by Tim Fountain and is based on the book of the same name, Sebastian was also very closely on hand throughout the production before his untimely death.

One of the best parts for me, and a part I wholeheartedly agreed with, was when he discussed possible parenthood by quipping "The only time you will ever see me pushing a pram is straight into the Thames!". The play was a brilliant mix of witty, crude (especially about spying on his sister and her friends getting undressed, "Well, she has a fantastic pair of tits!") vulgar, rude and thought provoking anecdotes.

I also loved how Twomey combined the captioning screens (for the deaf and hard of hearing) into the show, staying perfectly in character, "I swear I've just said all of that", and how he kept giving the screens cautionary glances as though he was hallucinating that they were there, genius.

It comes to a point where you think about Sebastian's death. Close friends were noted, in regards to Sebastian committing suicide, that he would never do such a thing without writing a dramatic several-page long suicide note! No note was found, Sebastian had tragically overdosed and died. However, having said all of this and thinking back, could this show itself have been his suicide note to his friends and audience? No one will ever know. That aside it was superbly executed by Fountain and I hope that the Soho Theatre will do another run as I (and others I've spoken to) would love to go to see it again. It is so hilariously brilliant.

RIP Sebastian Horsley.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review - glad you enjoyed it! Charlie (Soho Theatre)