Julie Birchill Is Away...
Last night we went to go and see Julie Birchill Is Away at the Soho Theatre. Jackie Clune (described by the Sunday Times as "an Essex version of Jodie Foster after she'd seen off Hannibal Lecter") gave a wonderful performance as the now slightly aging Birchill who started as the 'hip young gunslinger' on the NME and went on to be the 80's highest paid hack. Birchill is an iconoclast - notorious for taking cocaine and drinking like a fish - and has been described as 'the cleverest woman in Britain' (Radio Four) and 'Britain's Worst Mother' (Daily Mail). The latter comment referring to her unsuccessful attempt to keep her children - after a failed £50,000 lawsuit.
The play (written by Tim Fountain) was very well written and sees Julie Burchill musing about life, her past and her current job as controversial columnist at the Guardian. She is staunchly working class, curiously snobbish about the oddest things and dramatically self-opinionated. And also very, very funny.
I'll never forget years ago being at some posh dinner with Katherine Hamnett and she suddenly pipes up saying, 'I think the young working class are much better dressed than the young middle class.' I said, 'Yes, that's 'cos they can't afford your clothes.'
She could also be poignant too. She didn't care about being popular. She didn't care what people thought. She didn't want people to like her.
I had a shortage of friends, but I didn't mind 'cos I wasn't looking for friends. It's a bit of a taboo to say that isn't it? You can say you don't want a boyfriend or a wife or even your parents but you can't say you don't want friends.
And full of gossip too.
I had to read Derek Jarman's diaries a while back 'cos I was reviewing it... Only person who comes out of it well is Neil Tennant. Apparently Jarman was going to to see Jimmy Somerville and he asked Neil if he had a message for him. Tennant said, "Tell him "Piss off, Mary, I'm Head Fairy!"' I like that!