“Do you want to go and see Roy’s new play?” Thoughtful Man asked earlier today whilst sat at his computer. “He’s sent me Facebook message.”
Roy is Thoughtful Man’s oldest friend. I’ve mentioned him before.
“Oh that would be great.” We hadn’t been out together in ages…
“When’s it on? What’s it about?”
“Have a guess.” Thoughtful Man grinned his evil smile at me. “It opens next week.” He turned back to his computer and employed Clicky to give me a clue.
Thoughtful Man bobbed his head in time to the music. He swiveled back round to look at me with laughing eyes. Of course I knew that Roy’s plays predominantly feature black characters.
“No… He’s never written a musical called ‘Gaye’?!”
“No, but it is set in the 80s.” Thoughtful Man winked at me. “It’s called ‘Soul‘.”
‘You had better tell me what I just walked into’
On April Fool’s Day 1984, hours before his 45th birthday, Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father in the shared family home they called the ‘Big House.’ What happened there – and whether it was murder or suicide – has been shrouded in mystery since.
Revealing what really happened during Marvin Gaye’s haunting final days and celebrating his extraordinary life, Soul is a searing portrait of the pitfalls of the American dream. Not just the story of Marvin Gaye, but of many a musical icon whose family life has been crushed by the effects of their stardom.
“Soul?” That synced with a conversation I had with my friend Hugo on Twitter last night…
“Come and have a look at this!” chortled Thoughtful Man from across the room. I looked up, for I was bending over, having an interesting rummage though the programmes delivered last week. I was looking for one in particular. “Hmm?”
“You’ve got to see this”. He sounded excited, which doesn’t happen often, so best not avoided. Fortunately I’d found what I was looking for. Rising, I turned to see him leering and pointing at Elsa, the LoL computer. “It’s an old advert for WD-40”. “That can’t be real”. I said wiping a tear of mirth from my eye. As funny as it was, it couldn’t possibly be real.
“I shouldn’t think so. It’s on the internet.” He winked at me. “Although WD-40 was originally from ‘The RocketChemical Company’.” He winked again. Genuine or not, it had put him in a good mood. “And what were you looking for?” he said jovially, plucking the battered programme I was clutching from my hand. “I don’t remember this one. Which one was this?” He thumbed through the pages before handing it back. “It was the one with the willy.” He stared back at me blankly. “Frankie and Benny” I continued but nothing was clicking except maybe confusion; I’d forgotten about our local bistro.
I explained that I’d just watched the Graham Norton show, which had featured Stephen Merchant promoting his new play, ‘The Mentalists’. He would have to get nude on stage and we’d seen extremely funny, dare I say ‘flapping’, nudity when we’d gone to see ‘Dead Funny’.
He looked at me knowingly. “Trust you to remember that”. “The funniest thing is that I saw the actor, David Haig, sometime after at London Bridge station, during rush hour.” I paused as a look of horror crossed his face. “Stood right next to him actually.”
“What? Compliment him on the acting abilities of his willy?” I smiled sweetly. Thoughtful Man shook his head, covered his eyes and sighed. Deeply. “Would I do something as crass as that?”.
I couldn’t see the squint but it was definitely there, behind his fingers. “I wouldn’t put anything past you woman.” He turned back to Elsa and started clicking. “Have a song”.
“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. - J Robert Oppenheimer.