Another year dead, wrapped in plastic
And so, this evening, many of you will be celebrating the passing of one day into another, something so rare, so exceptional, that it only happens, let me see, EVERY 24 HOURS.
But hell, fill your boots.
Despite politically speaking 2015 being catastrophic for Britain as a whole, this year has been quite a memorable year for myself and for The Double R Club.
For my part, I wrote and published a book entitled The Menagerie, a fairy tale (with asides), beautifully illustrated by Jon Attfield. We launched the book at the Bamboo Lounge, downstairs at the wonderful Fontaine’s.
Something immense and unspeakable has happened, leaving a boy and girl wandering, lost and alone, across a yawing dusty plain. Alone that is until they happen across The Menagerie, a company of travelling circus-folk. . . and their birds. But The Menagerie are not quite what they appear and hold many secrets, secrets that threaten to throw the boy and girl’s futures into terrible shadow. Ever wanted to run away with the circus? Read The Menagerie and think again. With 17 beautiful and haunting illustrations by Jon Attfield
Should you be interested in purchasing a copy, here’s a few things that those who’ve read it had to say:
“Brilliantly written and beautifully illustrated,” “Despite the grim tales inside, I’d still want to run away to the circus given the chance,” “beautifully written with characters of today mingling effortlessly with the macabre format,” “Wonderfully dark and eerily sinister,” “It’s always a pleasure to be taken to a new place by a story, especially when that place is like nowhere you’ve ever been before. Five stars!”
Also this year was the confirmation (after quite a bit of a tadoo and a hoo-har) that not only would Twin Peaks return, but that David Lynch himself will be directing every episode… albeit not until 2017! But y’know, still… can’t say we at Double R towers aren’t excited…
And talking of moving pictures, 2015 also saw the release, in case you’ve been living under a rock and missed it, of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which I had the pleasure of appearing in!
Yes this is me. Not kidding. He even has his own entry on Wookieepedia.
To be honest it’s still sinking in; if you’d told the 6 year old Benjamin that he’d be in a Star Wars film, not to mention in a scene with Han Solo, and he may well have spontaneously combusted. Incredible. And, to make things better, while not perfect, the film was actually really rather bloody good.
Also, after an idea from my good lady wife, we began Benjamin Louche’s 7″s of Joy, a celebration of that most pop-music friendly format for musics, where at The Bamboo Lounge the public brings along their 7″ record and I play them… after which I may, repeat may ridicule them; and great fun is had by all in attendance.
The Double R Club (aberrant brainchild of my wife Rose Thorne and myself) returned to London Wonderground this year with what we believe was the strongest, strangest and most frightening show we’ve ever staged anywhere. Our cast went above and beyond to bring our dark and mysterious vision to the south bank and we cannot thank them enough. No one who witnessed that show will easily forget it… A few reminders of THAT WHICH HAPPENED THERE:
back at our home of Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, we also crowned a new Miss Twin Peaks for 2015 in the form of the incredible and deserving Laura Moody, with the crowns of Miss Sparkwood and Miss Ghostwood going to the amazing Rhyannon Styles and Sarah-Louise Young respectively.
And staying with Twin Peaks, we at The Double R contributed once again to the Twin Peaks UK Festival, which saw us staging shows over the two day event, as well as something really rather… special.
Mastermind of the TPUKF Lindsey Bowden had the idea that the old abandoned train car should be reconstructed onsite and that perhaps some of the RR performers could re-enact in some way the death of Laura Palmer. We grabbed a hold of that task with both hands and created something that we’re really rather proud of… rather than a slavish reconstruction of the scene, we re-imagined it as a kind of immersive theatrical experience, complete with the subtle psychological undermining of the audience as they queued by Miss Rose Thorne, a poetic introduction, nay invocation, of what was to take place, the smells of old earth and thunderstorm introduced inside the train car and sounds from Fire Walk With Me mixed together to create a mesmerizing, enveloping and terrifying experience.
Though no footage of the performance could ever do justice to the sensations of dread, the smell of decay, the strange and palpable feel of that ‘other place’ experienced by those present, we trust that the following audio visual record will take the viewer somewhere towards understanding.
Next year will see, along with the return of The Double R Club, a number of new projects, hopefully an all new Wonderground Show, a whole novel of mine published (one way or another, by hook or by bloody crook), perhaps even a rock and roll band… again, not kidding, w a t c h t h i s s p a c e . . .