David Hoyle: interview

’Magazine‘ star David Hoyle plans to raise our consciousness through dogging

  • David Hoyle: interview

    Tell me all about it: David Hoyle talks to David Hoyle (image © Lee Baxter)

  • David Hoyle’s six-week run of ‘Magazine’ at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern was undoubtedly one of the queer cultural highlights of 2006, and a triumphant return to the capital for the artist formerly known as the Divine David. Since then, Hoyle’s been busy with groundbreaking Ghent-based experimental theatre troupe Victoria, whose derived piece ‘For All the Wrong Reasons’ made a splash at the inaugural Manchester International Festival. He’s also been the subject of a session at a Tate Modern study day on ‘Identity and Performativity’– entitled ‘Just a Camp Laugh?’ in reference to one of his tongue-in-cheek catchphrases – in which he was credited with ‘recasting the terms of political address through the apparently un-serious pronouncements of post-camp performance’.

    Hoyle remains characteristically modest about his reshaping of the phenomenological landscape. ‘All I can provide with “Magazine” is a microcosm of a macrocosm,’ he shrugs. ‘But at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern the truth will be revealed and it will be a shared experience and there will be a mass lifting of consciousness. That’s all I can say.’

    Given that the new ten-week ‘Reprint’ run of ‘Magazine’ has been packing the Tavern out since July 23, there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of true believers.

    As in last year’s show, each week Hoyle tackles a different issue (geddit?), from the opening theme of celebrity – including an onstage interview with Lea Walker from ‘Big Brother’ – to this Monday’s examination of crime and punishment, immigration to ‘Antiques Roadshow’, media studies to ‘HIV ünt AIDS’. August 20 sees a pioneering on-stage discussion of dogging. ‘I believe people are flying in from all over the world to see that show because it’s the first time that subject’s been dealt with on a quasi-educational level,’ Hoyle notes.

    It’s all in the name of consciousness-lifting. ‘If we do want to go forward then, without wanting to sound like a hippy chick, it’s got to be harmonious. We’ve got to think of other systems, other ways of going forward, and if a forensic examination of dogging has to take place to do that then so be it. It’s all communication, isn’t it? At the worst, it’s human beings wanting to literally reach out and touch each other...’

    The run ends on September 24 with a session on alcoholism – a subject about which Hoyle has mixed feelings, if the double-portrait he’s created for the show is any indication. Time Out asked him to put words into the mouths of his two alter egos, and he kindly agreed. ‘It’s an interesting concept, why not? It’s stereophonic, isn’t it? I mean, sometimes one’s not enough...’

    Tea-drinker: We’ve all been there. If only there was something I could do. It’s so sad to see somebody in that state.
    I have been there myself and there’s so little you can do because it’s a decision that you have to make within yourself. When I’m looking at the broken person, I think: Deep within you somewhere is the answer, and I really hope that, like me, you find it, and then you can sit here, sanctimonious, like the vicar’s wife.’

    Alky: I’m just trying me best, right? You don’t understand. [Breathes hard] I’m tryin’... I’m tryin’... You don’t understand. It’s very real to me. And I FEEL it! What do you do in your sobriety? What gives you the reason to patronise me with that look? Are you saying that you are better than me? Is it me or my behaviour that makes me less than you? Tell me! TELL ME! TEEELLLLL MEEEE!!!
    [Alky breaks down]
    [Tea-drinker tuts sweetly]

    Magazine ’ is on every Monday at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern to September 24.

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