The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
ENO's production of La Boheme is a triumph,
DESCRIBING Sir Gideon Vein as a comedian is tantamount to summarising the Eiffel Tower as a Paris landmark or to categorise Jack the Ripper as somewhat misogynistic.
In his self-proclaimed 169 years, Vein has perfected an on-stage persona that goes way beyond the "act."
The base punchlines that suck in the unsuspecting audience can be apologised for and rejected again in the blink of an eyebrow and the subject matter can divert from marital break-ups to the massacre of ants and, on one notable occasion, changing tack dramatically to a recital of Sir Henry Irving, without the merest pause for breath.
Vein will confront and empathise with his audience almost simultaneously.
Intellectually and emotionally, Vein and the audience can unanimously find themselves tangled in knots, as accents, morals and perspectives are twisted in all manner of directions.
His performances are hilarious, cathartic, disturbing and intensely addictive.
You can catch him at the Performance Club, 3 Thorpe Close, London W10 tomorrow and on January 19 and 26.