Dicky Eton is producer for legendary club night Duckie at The RVT. He was born in Australia but raised in Rochdale, once got naked with the Duckie crew in a Berlin bar and loves his mum’s tea loaf.
Where are you from originally?
I hail from Rochdale (home to Gracie Fields and Lisa Stansfield) but was born in Perth, Western Australia. My mum and dad were Ten Pound Poms – they got the boat over to Oz for £10 each, but came back after three years so my mum could show her first born off to the grandparents. It cost a lot more than ten quid to get back though!
And where do you live now?
New Cross New Cross, so good they named it twice – south of the river where all the best (and the worst) people live. Just me and my partner (Daniel) living the Good Life.
What do you love about London and why?
London is the place of dreams (and also nightmares), but I love the diversity, the opportunities, the characters, the energy. I’ll probably die here – when the time comes.
What was the first LGBT venue you visited?
One of the first great LGBT venues I went to was Flesh in Manchester. Me and a load of mates dressed up one Wednesday night and went down to the Hacienda for White Night. I borrowed (without asking) my younger sister’s white dungarees (which I chopped off at the knee and obviously wrecked) with black docs, a white T-shirt and white underwear. I have a memory of dancing on a ledge upstairs with the dungarees around my ankles. It was hedonistic, exciting, absolutely brilliant and changed my life.
What is your favourite venue?
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Can I say that again? The ROYAL VAUXHALL TAVERN. It just works, as a space, a pub, a cabaret venue, a cultural centre and especially as a club.
How would you describe Duckie to an alien?
A sweaty, beery cess pit of brilliant music and performance every Saturday night. It’s a little like Coronation Street – it doesn’t matter when you last watched an episode, you can just turn up and feel as though you’ve never left. From The Cloths on the door to The Readers Wifes on the decks, to Amy Lamé as your host and an ever-changing coterie of performances on stage, every week for 23 years. Something must be working right.
What’s the greatest pop song ever?
At the age of 8 I remember hearing David Bowie’s Space Oddity for the first time at a friend’s house (his elder brother had it on an 8-track – remember those?) and we played it over and over every time we met up. I was (of course) Major Tom lost in space.
What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?
The Inheritance at the Young Vic a couple of months ago. A fucking amazing, profound and exhausting piece of work. At over six hours long and in two parts (we saw both on one day with dinner between) it manages to convey the beauty and the horror of the life we are all part of.
What is your guilty pleasure?
My mum used to make tea loaf, and as such I cannot pass by a shop and not lust after any kind of fruit bread/cake/bun/scone. Obviously, all washed down with a cup of tea – Yorkshire Tea at that as I’m from up North.
Years ago when I was young(er), I bought myself a little black MG Midget, which I loved and which felt very extravagant at the time. I used to bomb around town in her with the roof down and it seemed like life couldn’t get any better. I’d take my gran shopping in it – although when she was in the roof most definitely had to stay up. Next up is an old Merc.
Best gift you’ve ever received and why?
Dan arranged a beautiful surprise trip to the southeast coast for my birthday (years ago) and we spent a glorious week cycling and driving round without a care in the world.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
Over the years Duckie has been developing a series of community projects, one of which is The Posh Club. It’s basically Duckie on a Saturday night, but for older working-class folks with tons more glamour, less alcohol, and always an amazing atmosphere – try and stop them dancing! What better way to spend a weekday afternoon. It’s bloody brilliant and we are all massively proud of The Posh Club.
If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?
1931, Berlin. To understand and feel the beauty and the horror.
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?
While touring C’est Duckie! to Berlin in February 2005, the entire company ended up in a little bar after midnight with a whole clutch of friends and acquaintances. At one moment Simon (Casson) tried to buy a round for the entire bar, but then we had a bet with the owner and he agreed to give everyone free drinks if we all got naked. Well, this being Duckie, everyone got naked, including most of the general punters, some of whom had just wandered in for a late drink. There were people dancing on tables and the bar and even the owner got his kit off. That was a pretty good night!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?
All of those that came before and after me – fighting the battles that make a difference to all our lives.
Who are the most entertaining people you follow on social media and why?
I’m pretty shit on social media but I have a few people that I follow on Instagram that constantly amaze me, llpeachyd being one.
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
Russia – I have a hankering to journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
Nobody cares – just be you.