Sunday, 30 October 2005

What a night

It is almost one in the morning and I can’t sleep; I am still high on the energy built up tonight (and perhaps the alcohol too). It all started quite normally with my having dinner at home and getting ready to join someone for the Chorus, SH, who had organised a night out to see the stage version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

On my way to Too2much, the ill-named venue (formerly the infamous Raymond Revue), where the show was to take place, and although I had decided on a different route to try and avoid them, my bus was slowed down by the non-demonstrating cyclists taking part in Critical Mass. I knew Slightly would be one of them and rang him to give him a piece of my mind.

I made it to the cabaret in time however. There were 6 of us in all, 5 of which are Chorus members. We spotted another member in the audience. I had been to Too2much once, and have to say I had not been particularly impressed. The place is expensive and pretencious while at the same time a bit shabby. This time I was a little more impressed. Together with our seats we got a "free" glass of Champagne, a programme and a foam wig. The staff was very polite and on the whole helpful if a bit overwhelmed sometimes. After several reminders that the bar was about to close and that we should stock up on drinks, the show finally began.

A few months ago, I came across a cheap copy of the DVD of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I was aware of it without knowing why and decided to give it a sceptical try. To my utter surprise, the experience turned out to be quite enjoyable indeed. I suppose also that any gay person (especially a gay person) will find things to relate to in this story of someone who has no real roots and is trying to make sense of life. Although the characterisation is a bit two-dimensional, the songs (and the singing) are actually rather good (and I don’t usually like guitary stuff!). One of my favorites numbers of the show, The Origin of Love is the retelling of Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symphosium, which, as well as sounding good, appeals to me intellectually. Both versions of Wicked Little Town will echoe in many a conscienceness.

David Bedella as HedwigThe UK version of the show (it was a show before becoming a film) was created last year I believe for the Pride Festival Fortnight and was staged at Heaven. The lead was taken up by David Bedella, who is better known for his award winning performance as Satan/Warm up Man in Jerry Springer, the Opera. He was Hedwig tonight again, and a very good one too. The show is build like a one-man-show and Bedella, really carry the whole 90 min show. A thoroughly enjoyable performance. My only criticism is that he physically don't quite look the part; he is way to muscly and masculine looking to be a convincing transexual, even a botched one, but there is obviously nothing he can do about this. I have been singing the chorus of one of the songs since I left Too2much and am now listening to them as I write.

At the end of the show, Bedella invited everyone in the audience to join him to the bar upstairs and all six of us went up. This is where the really strange part of the evening started for me.
1.30am - going to bed...


11.30 am.

Hedwig tunes a are again playing in the background. Slightly woke me up an hour ago to tell me about his adventures. Despite a slight lingering headache, it is time now to finish telling mine.

Although we were all members of the Chorus we don't know each other well (most of this people are from the recent new intake) and the group was mostly composed of pairs. JA informed us when his date went to the toilet that the guy (PG) was a "potential". DO and SL, I learned later were in the exploratory stages of a possible relationship as well. Then there was SH and myself, who are just friends. SH, knew JA and myself. I had met JA at a previous such expedition when we went to see Theatre of Blood at the National. DO and I were aware of each other, as he was a member when I joined the Chorus and left soon after.

As we were waiting for the show to start, the conversation went on laboriously, as it usually does between people who don't know each other. As usual, in noisy environment I was rather silent, looking around me and not straining to catch what was being said too much. I did become aware at one point that the conversation had turned to watches. Everyone seemed to agree that they had to be very expensive (SL had had his insured) and a gift from someone. SL informed us that jeans, watches and flowers are the only things one should pay attention to. The guy seem to have more money than sense if you ask me... (when we got upstairs, he gave his credit card to the barman, saying he wanted a refill of his class of wine everytime it got empty and paid for several rounds). All through this, I was aware of or imagined repeated insistent looks in my direction from SL and PG.

When we got upstairs after the show, DO for some reason seemed to attached himself to me. By that time the others were already bound by that ethylic camaradery I never try to reach and SL, DO's "date" was blithly flirting and being touchy feely with everyone in his reach. He even tried it on me at some time! Something nobody usually does.

DO is some sort of voice coach. Earlier in the evening, he asked me the usual questions about how long I had been in London and how I learned English. On the occasion he informed me that although my accent was recognisably French, I also had elements of a London accent in the way I speak. A nice thing to hear. I felt a bit more embivalent however when he suggested that I might want to get myself checked for dyslexia. He said that my problems in noisy places, where I hear the sounds but somehow do not seem to process them to make sense of them is a potential symptom of dyslexia. He then proceeded to give me a short list of numbers, asking me to repeat them in the reverse order. By then, I had had a glass of Champagne and one of white wine; my brains were not as agile as they could be expected to be and I could not manage the asigned task. DO said that using visual means to deal with such request could also be a sign of dyslexia. To be honest I am a little sceptical and to be honest uncertain as to the usefulness of being diagnosed. Dyslexia is not "curable" and if I am indeed affected, it can only be to a light degree.

Just before I decided to leave, PG, with whom I had not exchanged a word during the all evening, took the opportunity of my standing idly alone to come up and tell me I had a very nice... skin. Saying how smooth and soft it was. I asked him if he had a professional interest there (perhaps he was a taxidermist) to which he replied he was a physiotherapist.

Walking out of Too2much, I felt quite elated. As far as my delusional mind could tell, I had awakened the interest of three guys that evening. Something clearly unheard of. Of course they weren't exactly free to do anything about it and neither would I have wanted them to (apart perhaps for PG) but it was a nice feeling anyway. Reflecting on all this now, I also see how disconnected I am with how social interactions work. It seems things go much faster than I think. More on this in another post perhaps, when I have got my head around it.

The interesting thing is that I will probably be seeing most of those poeple again tonight. SH is having a non-halloween party... For now, my headache has grown worth for staring at that screen. I think I'll go for a lie down.




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