Friday, 10 July 2009

Lesbian tyre-changing, a one-legged gay WWI veteran and a naked man in a top hat

"At last
My love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song"

"Lesbian tyre-changing, one-legged WWI veterans and a naked man in a top hat". I wasn't expecting any of those at an event titled Love and Marriage as part of the London Literary Festival on the South Bank, but we got them all...

The former came courtesy of a lovely reading by Welsh author Stephanie Dummler, all about the innocence of emerging love, as two very different women tentatively embark on an unknown journey into a lesbian relationship in 1960s Britain, when attitudes were very different to today... The Dovecote on Amazon.

The second came, amusingly, from the imagination of Marion Husband, as she described how the lead character (the aforementioned one-legged WWI survivor) in her book The Boy I Love developed as she wrote - and she decided that instead of returning to the arms of the local butcher's daughter he would instead return to the bed of Doctor Adam Harris. Excellent stuff! The passage Marion read is available as an extract via Google.

But, as you might have guessed, the third of these unexpected entertainments came when it was our host Paul Burston's turn to read - as between two extracts from A Gay Divorcee all his clothes (bar those pants that so shocked his mum when she saw the cover of Boyz) seemed to fall off, to the excruciating background music of Lady in Red...

With gorgeous musical interludes from the sexy David McAlmont, this was an excellent evening - even if the hour flew by alarmingly quickly.

I look forward to the next event in Rupert Smith's House of Homosexual Culture season at the Festival. We are booked for next week's Stonewall - 40 event at the Purcell Room.

Let Etta have the last word:

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