The vagaries of life with a talented dead performance artist stroke comedian

After a morning involved in the intricacies of the English legal system – even with my shit-hot media solicitor who combines a fearsome reputation with a sense of humour and a love of Jonathan Swift – you need something different.

And I got that this afternoon.

Last month, I blogged about the death of performance artist cum comedian Ian Hinchliffe whose life is to be celebrated this Saturday (2nd July) at Beaconsfield arts studio in London.

The six-hour event – which I suspect may stray somewhere along the way into the area of a 1960s-style Happening – is being called Ian Hinchliffe: The Memorial and will probably (one can never be too certain about these things) start with a performance by Tony Green at 2.00pm.

The whole caboodle – music, comedy, art and mayhem will include a fully-restored screening of bizarre 1979 film The Poppy Seed Affair and should finish by 8.00pm

A generation ago, probably around 1990/1991, I was persuaded by the late, great Malcolm Hardee to go with him to see Ian Hinchliffe and Tony Green perform at a now long-forgotten comedy night called T’others at The Ship in Kennington, South London. I shot a video of part of the evening, but could not remember what was on it.

It has been twenty years, I have a shit memory and I had never used the video anywhere nor had I seen it since, largely because I have no way of watching the outdated Video-8 format it is on.

So, last week, I got the tape transferred by the redoubtable Stanley’s in Wardour Street, Soho, and it does indeed show Ian and Tony performing with glimpsed shots of Malcolm sitting in the audience and – no surprise here – going to the bar for a drink.

This afternoon, I gave two clips of Ian Hinchliffe’s performance to man-about-the-arts Roger Ely who seemed remarkably coherent for someone who only returned home yesterday, sleepless, from Glastonbury with a deep cut on his finger from accidentally stubbing his forefinger on an open razor in pitch darkness, very sore legs which never did get used to being pulled out of the mud for three days and tales of a great performance by B.B.King and the glory that was and still is The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

Roger is organising Ian Hinchliffe: The Memorial which is a brave, if not foolhardy, thing for him to do.

But, then, he is not short on bravery. In earlier days, Roger did share a house with Ian Hinchliffe for a couple of years and was only slightly nonplussed when Ian pushed him out of a car at 70 mph. Such are the vagaries of life with a talented performance artist stroke comedian.

Saturday should be an experience.

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Filed under Art, Comedy, Drugs, Theatre

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