David Hoyle finds the dissent of the British fascinating, picks Larry Grayson as a hero and tells us how a trip to Spain aged 10 changed his life.
Where are you from originally?
Blackpool, the one and only Blackpool. Entertainment centre of the universe…
And where do you live now?
Manchesterford, and within the landscapes of the collective imagination, which are accessible to us all. I do believe that we live in our heads, not in a geographical location.
What do you love about London and why?
I love its art and expression, and its venom directed at neoliberal vermin.
What was the first gay venue you visited?
Lucy’s Bar in Blackpool. It was a wholly halcyonic and healing haven for all sorts of people. I was 17 and it was all Duran Duran, Soft Cell and Depeche Mode.
What are your favourite clubs, bars or venues in London, and why?
The Retro Bar. It’s one of the jewels in the crown of London. An oasis of the avant-garde and it works as an intellectual salon whilst at the same time being lots of fun! I’m looking forward to returning to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in October which is my spirit home in London, though I do love Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club where I’m working at the moment, the people are all so friendly and it’s full of atmosphere.
What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?
I’m a massive fan of Sarah-Louise Young. I loved her accurate portrayal of all the female-identified roles in Yank, a musical about gay people in the US military I saw at Hope Mill in Manchester. Sarah-Louise is one of the most talented people currently working. One superlative after another, it was really excellent: a tour de force which illustrates a mega talent.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Evading too much ‘reality’. When you can’t see the validity in the status quo, life can become really rather difficult.
Best gift you’ve ever received and why?
Life. Even though most of it’s been shit.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
My next show! Now: it is imperative that we really do live in the now, the landscape has started to vibrate at a higher level and we must act accordingly.
If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?
Probably 1979. That was the beginning of the cancerous disease of neoliberalism in this country. When the country lost its identity and gave in to those whose creed is greed. I was just a teenager at the time but I had the idea something massive was happening and I wished I was able to vote. I think you’ll find history has proved me right. Especially given recent events!
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?
So good I can’t remember it.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Who is your LGBT hero and why?
Larry Grayson on the Generation Game. Such a genius way of lampooning western capitalism at the time of the Cold War. Who truly could carry that off these days?
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
It’s either the Pitcairn Islands or Benidorm, I’m torn. Some of the islands have been untouched for centuries. I think they’re making it an area of international scientific interest. It’s inhabited by descendants from the mutiny on the Bounty, isn’t that fascinating? The Bounty prefigured battleship Potemkin by almost two centuries. That’s enough to make you proud to be British, that we were making a nonsense of maritime law before the revolutionary Russians. It is the dissent of the British that I find interesting. Not their mindless obedience. Which is neither interesting nor worthy of celebration. Whenever people dissent – I celebrate that. Actually, I went to Benidorm aged ten; I saw a fascist dictatorship with my own eyes. There were ‘men’ with machine guns on every street corner. Of course it changed my life. Looking back, I wonder if it was that which politicised me? Package holidays to Benidorm had a very deleterious effect on tourism in Blackpool. Will I ever be able to forgive Franco? I don’t know right now. All I do know is I’m with all Boyz readers. Peace and love and happiness for a summer of love.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
A near comprehensive understanding of paranoid schizophrenia.