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BLOG: Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope

BLOG: Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope

Writer, raconteur, actor and if he were alive today, the face of Walkers Crisps (I thought I best get that cheap joke out of the way before I carry on).

He wrote countless books, starred in a number of stage, film and TV productions, had a vast, eclectic array of music, artwork and exhibitions in his honour, by the likes of Sting, Warhol and The Museum of Arts and Design.
Though I’d probably denounce anything that was about me if it was written by Sting (Roxanne, I’m saying nothing).

“It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile,
Be yourself no matter what they say.”

Quentin was someone who did just that. He was himself no matter what, and proud of it; which is something we should all embrace. If you fancy running through the streets of Manchester dripping in Bisto gravy then go for it, but just make sure it’s at a reasonable temperature.

Be who you want to be, those molecular structures of atoms that sneer and comment are not worth your time. I mean, I’m a quiet, hide in the shadows at the back of a room guy (not a creepy vampire, well I hope not), but maybe one day I’d like to dress up like Chewbacca and go live in the wild…

My partner gets a call from work:
“Have you seen Mark; he hasn’t shown up for a week?”
“Oh, he’s off in the mountains dressed like Chewbacca for the Summer.”
“Argh right, well as long as he’s happy… but make sure he’s back by Monday.”

“Ask yourself this. If there were no praise or blame – who would I be?”

Written and performed to critical acclaim by Mark Farrelly, Naked Hope has captured the heart of audiences, from its beginnings at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before moving on to the West End and now a UK tour.

Split into two parts, the first recounts Quentin’s early years in his Chelsea flat in the 1960s dealing with homophobia, rejection and degradation resulting from living life as a flamboyant gay man in such turbulent times.

The second half focuses on Quentin’s formative years in New York. Here we find Quentin much older and now embraced by society as he recounts to the audience with his sharp wit the philosophy of his lifestyle.

Naked Hope is an honest and uplifting celebration on the urgency of being yourself, performed by a character actor that truly embodies the roles he performs.

“Life will be more difficult if you try to become yourself. But avoiding this difficulty renders life meaningless. So discover who you are. And be it. Like mad!”.

For those that haven’t seen The Naked Civil Servant with John Hurt, I highly recommend it, as this likewise portrays 1990s Quentin.
Now that’s Quentin Crisp not 1990s Quentin Tarantino… If it were, then The Naked Civil Servant would have been played by Samuel L Jackson, and there is no way this guy is taking any sh*t.

I can picture the tagline now:
“Fabulous, Flamboyant and raging with Furious Anger!”
“This summer, Samuel L Jackson puts the Naked in Revenge!”

I may have to pitch this idea to Mark Farrelly when he arrives, or then again, best not. Picture this, a man dowsed head to toe in feathers and fur pretending to be Chewbacca, sat behind a desk trying to communicate via sickening groans a stage play pitch of 90s Samuel L Jackson portraying Quentin Crisp in an R rated Tarantino flick.

No wonder Sam Jackson made Deep Blue Sea if those were his options, and that pitch alone must have been bad:
Producer “You seen Jaws?”
Jackson “Yeah”
Producer “Well imagine Jaws had the brain of Einstein, and it eats you 20 minutes into the film.”
Jackson “Where do I sign?”
Agent “Aren’t you meant to be making that Chewbacca guy’s movie?”
Jackson “Did you not hear him?”
Jackson interlocks his right and left hands; his fingers marry each other becoming one.
Jackson “Sharks and Einstein.”

Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope comes to The Coro on Friday 21st June and I can assure you this is a thespian’s dream. A stark honest performance not to be missed for lovers of theatre and newcomers alike.

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