January 2016. Reading an excerpt from my new novel Pharmakeia, at Paul Burston’s literary salon ‘Polari’ at The Southbank Centre.
This short film, ‘Lippy’, produced by ‘The Flying Bull’ theatre company, centres around the character of a homeless person. The screenplay was written by Timothy Graves and directed by Penelope Maynard. Director of Photography and Editor, Giles Webb, Directing Consultant and Acting coach, Robyn Moore. Music by Airacuda.The cast are as follows: Timothy Graves (The Professor), Eva Mashtaler (The Girl), Karim Jabri (The Boyfriend), Sue Ruddick (The Kind Woman).
The film was shot in Holborn and Covent Garden in central London and focusses on the issues of homelessness and environmentalism although the short piece is character driven. Part of the brief was that the film be no longer than 5 mins long and that it could be shot not far from The City Lit Institute where all five actors of ‘The Flying Bull’ are studying for a professional diploma in Acting. On the actual day of filming we were upstaged rather by an actual homeless guy, James, who initially would not move from where we wanted to film. However, it was not long before we persuaded James to join in and take part in some of the filming which he thoroughly enjoyed.
In writing the screenplay, I was inspired by a scene in the Mike Leigh play ‘Career Girls’, when the two female characters, many years later, accidentally bump into a friend and flatmate from university. Only the friend, who had suffered from some mental health issues at university, is now homeless on the streets of London. In ‘Lippy’, it is one of the professor’s students that recognises the now homeless professor. The flashback scene, set at Manchester university, is necessary to highlight how drastically both the professor of botany and the student’s lives have changed.
I hope you enjoy ‘Lippy’. It’s out first short film and we certainly had fun making it!
An excerpt from chapter 3 from my new novel Pharmakeia entitled ‘Soho Books’, read at ‘Gay’s The Word’ bookshop in Bloombury, London. Mahvand, a queer underground comics artist, works at Soho Books and has been sketching customers including Crystal, a Liverpudlian crack-whore. Crystal steals Mahvand’s sketchpad and is then confronted about this act of theft down in the basement by Candy Darling, a Geordie transsexual ‘cabaret artiste, sex shop impresario, entertainer extraordinaire.’ Penelope Maynard reads for the character of Crystal, Karim Jabri for the part of Mahvand. I read the narration and for the character of Candy Darling.