I am delighted to bring you another view of Your Darkest Thought, Bill’s play that premiered at The New Adelphi Club in Hull. It is literally another view as Giles was on the opposite side of the room to me and he had an extra special neighbour.
Your Darkest Thought – a meta Bill experience
A tap on the shoulder, “You’ll have to move, I’m bringing stuff through”, it was Bill, clad in his signature boots, turned-up jeans and work shirt. I noisily shuffled the table and chairs away from the door as he brought in two huge canvases and two suitably beefy easels and lifted them onto the stage. After some careful re-arranging and fine tuning, he stepped off the stage and sat next to me. Tam Dean Burn walked over, clad in Bill’s signature boots, turned-up jeans and work shirt. “Are we ready”, Bill nodded and opened his spiral bound script.
Tam Dean Burn, an actor, was playing Bill Drummond who was once in Big in Japan. Bill Drummond, the real one, was sat next to me, prompting on-stage Bill Drummond when lines were lost or for finer points of clarity, real Bill checking his spiral bound script. Bill Drummond, the on-stage one, acted out Bill Drummond, the real one, who was in Big in Japan, shining shoes on the Beverley Road in Hull. As on-stage Bill Drummond, re-enacted real Bill Drummond, who was sat next to me, shining shoes on the Beverley Road in Hull he was interrogated by an unnamed man, an actor, who later became known as Cassius Clay, as to the reasons why he was shining shoes on the Beverley Road in Hull. As they delivered their lines, the real Bill Drummond, a huge man perched next to me on a tiny stool, laughed and snorted approval as on-stage Bill Drummond (actor Tam Dean Burn, who with my bad eyesight could pass for the real Bill in a winter’s dreck) played the role with attentive gusto whilst dressed in signature boots, turned up jeans and a work shirt. Cassius Clay, from Hull, we think, previously an unnamed man, demanded to know how much on-stage Bill was getting for shining shoes on the Beverley Road in Hull, Bill, the one sat next to me, the real one, prompted on stage Bill with “two and a half grand”.
So to re-cap, I’m in Hull at the New Adelphi, a legendary music venue, on a Sunday night watching a play about Bill Drummond shining shoes on the Beverley Road in Hull, with Bill being played by a Scottish actor, smaller in stature than the real Bill, who is sat next to me, but with my failing eyesight, bears more than a passing resemblance. As on-stage Bill gets into gear, I can see and hear the reactions of the real Bill sat next to me. Think on though, it’s the real Bill Drummond, who used to be in Big in Japan (amongst other things) that wrote the play, I can see his hand-written changes as he flicks from page to page, he’s laughing at actor Bill Drummond (played by his nemesis Tam Dean Burn) who is delivering the lines he wrote. The forth wall shattered within minutes with requests from on-stage Bill, prompts from real Bill (who amongst other things was in Big in Japan) and interventions from the unnamed man, now called Cassius Clay, from Hull, we think.
In the second act, Hazel and Jackie, played by two actors we can only assume aren’t called Hazel and Jackie (although they could well be) also demand to know when they will be paid as they deliver harrowing darkest thoughts to on-stage Bill Drummond, whilst real Bill Drummond (formerly of Big in Japan) watches on, checking that actors Hazel and Jackie deliver the gist of the darkest thoughts he elicited from two women in a pub in Hull, presumably near to the Beverley Road, who aren’t called Hazel and Jackie as they only agreed to their darkest thoughts being included in a play for the City of Culture, for which they would never be paid, but the actors Hazel and Jackie (whose names probably aren’t Hazel and Jackie) will be paid, if the real Bill, who is sat next to me, pays them.
So to re-cap, I’m in Hull, I’m sat on an unfeasibly small bar stool, next to me Bill Drummond (formerly of Big in Japan amongst other things) also on an unfeasibly small bar stool, watching himself, played by actor Tam Dean Burn wearing clothes that look like those real Bill would wear, talking with Hazel and Jackie (not their real names) recalling their darkest, darkest thoughts that he collected in a pub in Hull when he should have been shining shoes on the Beverley Road.
Act 3 was a mind-fuuk, you can read about that elsewhere.
So, to re-cap Act 3 was a mind-fuuk.
The play ended, real Bill (formerly of Big in Japan, amongst other things) joined actor Bill (played by his slightly smaller Scottish nemesis Tam Dean Burn) on stage to pay Hazel, Jackie and Cassius Clay for their roles in the play, with real money, which was, after all being funded by the City of Culture at a cost of two and a half grand, the real Hazel and Jackie whose names we do not know, did not get paid.
Bill then shined shoes until he had shined the shoes of forty people in Hull thus meeting his City of Culture obligations. For the record, Kiwi shoe polish, one brush to brush on, one to brush off, all marked accordingly to avoid contamination. Black, brown, oxblood and neutral. Just polish, no spitting (unlike the character Bill Drummond, played by actor Tam Dean Burn, nemesis of the real Bill Drummond, formerly of Big in Japan, who spent most of the time sat on a tiny stool next to me, snorting approvingly at his own historic rendition of shining shoes on the Beverley Road in Hull) and a quick buff with a duster.
I wrote my darkest thought in Bill’s ledger, only my wife and Bill know it, unless the other people who had watched actor Bill, real Bill, Cassius Clay, Hazel and Jackie, read it after they had their shoes shined.
Whilst the shoes were being shined the actor Tam Dean Burn watched and talked with Hannah Peel.
(page 62 & Between the Click and the Bang)