David Hoyle at 50
David Hoyle is turning 50. He tells us about the special celebration he's planning with fellow half-centenarian Gerry Potter-Poet
David Hoyle has been at the forefront of the UK's avant-garde cabaret world for two decades, combining scathing social and political critique, restless multi-form performance and unfettered personal vulnerability with camp laughs aplenty. As his fiftieth birthday approaches, Hoyle is planning a special show at the RVT with Gerry Potter-Poet, a longtime collaborator - when they started working together, they were known as the Divine David and Chloe Poems respectively - who is also marking his half-century. They've called it '100 Years of Hell'.
Here, Hoyle tells us what this landmark means for him and what we can expect to see on stage at the RVT, which he calls 'my spritual home, my Shangri-la, my grail!'
'“100 Years of Hell” is the perfect opportunity to work with my friend and colleague Gerry Potter-Poet, who has recently had two books published on the subject of middle age. Personally, I wish he'd never written them as I can't accept I'm middle-aged. What have I done to deserve this? I was meant to die decades ago but for some reason have clung to life, every day a fresh torment.
'From the show, we can expect a personal resumé of me looking back over my life. Gerry will be doing this too. At the end of the self-assessments, the ladies and gentlemen (and those clever enough to have transcended gender) will be invited to vote as to whether our lives have been a complete waste of time or not. We'll take the vote, whatever it is, on the chin. You do as you get older - why get your knickers in a twist when with bare toes one can feel the grassy rim of the grave? Rachel Cleansing and Nancy Germany - the nation's sweethearts, aka Bitz 'n' Bobz - will be our guest star artistes. They say they love David Cameron and everything that he says!
'The evening is also about my family, my dream team - Pippa Davenport, Nathan Evans, Pam Lustgarden, Dawn Amber Harvey, Joan Dairy Queen - getting together like we do for a one-off special. It presents me with an opportunity to say thank you to the audience, and to thank performance for all that it has given me. Am I finally jettisoning a whole way of thinking and feeling? A way of thinking that has brought me little but sadness and sorrow? It's about accepting it's too late for some dreams but I'm open to new ones. My personal life has always been a disastrous, barren desert, though not without “incident”, with two or three clumsy, desperate attempts at personal happiness. Whenever I purposefully looked for love, I always went directly to hell and I'm forever picking up the pieces!
'However, I give thanks for a sense of humour and a desire to entertain. The lengthiest, most sustaining relationship that I have had is with the audience because together we vibrate at a higher frequency, with the energy that we generate together. It'll be an honour to orchestrate this energy at my fiftieth birthday celebrations. I've little to lose now! I just want to say thank you for giving me something to live for, something to love for. The loyalty I've been shown in bad times and worse - well, I don't think I've ever taken this for granted and I can feel my eyes stinging as I try to define what I feel, but I can't. This relationship is ongoing - there is still life!'