Performance .... on the Road
“The only performance that makes it, that makes it all the way is the one that achieves madness.” And boy did we have a madly enjoyable weekend on our recent book tour. Producer Sandy Lieberson and I were joined by my wife, Kelly as we travelled to Bristol, Leeds and Manchester celebrating the debut film of Nic Roeg and Donald Cammell, Performance, on the big screen.
Travelling ahead of us to each venue were a selection of our large format numbered limited edition books, which we are delighted to say were met with a rapturous welcome. Our first venue was Bristol’s Watershed. Located on Bristol’s beautiful harbourside, Watershed is a cultural melting pot. We were invited along by Maddie Probst and Mark Cosgrove to join in Cinema Rediscovered’s celebration of our friend, Nic Roeg. ‘The Balance of Things: the Cinematic Imagination of Nic Roeg’ took an in‐depth look at Nic’s work, with Don’t look Now, Walkabout, Eureka, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bad Timing and Performance underlining just why he is the master. After the 35 mm screening Sandy and I joined Mark Cosgrove on stage to talk about Performance, both Sandy’s film and my book came under Mark’s microscope as we chatted about Nic, Donald, and the extraordinary screen performances of Mick Jagger, James Fox and Anita Pallenberg. After the screening we were only too happy to sign copies of our Coattail Publications book for fans including Mark, Portishead’s Adrian Utley and actor Paul McGann. Up with the larks we breakfasted and set off across country to Leeds excited to finally visit a cinema I had long wished to visit. The Hyde Park Picture House Cinema dates back to November 1914, just after the outbreak of World War One, and oozes period charm. The still in use gas lights only added to the beauty; I was entranced. Locals are encouraged to bring along their own tea cups, a warm brew is the perfect companion to the locally sourced cakes. Hosted by the lovely Faye Dawson it was the perfect location for our Q&A, which followed the 35 mm screening of Performance. Another wonderful audience was only equalled by the warm welcome we received from Wendy, Ollie and the team. The following day we made the relatively short drive to Manchester to Tony Wilson Place and the contemporary arts centre, HOME. Performance was playing as part of the ‘Sound and Vinson; Pop Stars on Film’ season curated by Professor Jason Woods and Dr Kirsty Fairclough. Playing host to art, theatre and cinema HOME ‐ is for curiosity seekers, for lovers of the dramatic, the digital and the deeply engaging; for radicals and reciprocators – and does it live up to that tagline. Such was the interest in Performance we were relocated to the large theatre to accommodate those wishing to see the beautiful print of the film. A huge Nic Roeg fan, Jason Woods proved to be fantastically knowledgeable host for our Q&A and had a wonderful surprise up his sleeve as we were played out by the video of E=Mc2 by Big Audio Dynamite; with of course Don Letts and Dan Donovan from B.A.D featuring in my book this was a perfect way to lead into our book signing. A huge thank you to Jason, Fraser and the whole team at HOME who truly made us feel at home. After fifty years Nic Roeg and Donald Cammell’s film still resonates and finding audiences. It was an honour to ride on their coattails over the weekend with my friend and mentor, Sandy Lieberson. Hopeful we shall see more of you as further Performance Q&A screening dates are announced. Next up is the Rio Cinema, October 1