All posts by The Mouth Magazine

GRAHAM FELLOWS (aka JOHN SHUTTLEWORTH)

YES INDEED… SHEFFIELD’S FUNNIEST MAN JOHN SHUTTLEWORTH IS BACK. AFTER A WELL-DESERVED HOME DIY SABBATICAL OF THREE WHOLE YEARS, THE VERSATILE SINGER / ORGANIST AND VERBAL RAMBLER EXTRAORDINAIRE IS CURRENTLY A THIRD OF THE WAY THROUGH A HUGE UK TOUR. IN THIS NEW INTERVIEW WITH THE MOUTH MAGAZINE, WE CATCH UP WITH THE MAN BEHIND SHUTTLEWORTH – ACTOR AND PERFORMER GRAHAM FELLOWS…

 

HELLO GRAHAM, HOW ARE YOU?
Hello! Well, I’m actually really tired. I’m on quite a long tour and today it’s caught up with me a bit. I’m about twenty dates into sixty or so, and even though I’ve just had my second day off I’m still knackered from all the days before when I was, you know, full-on. But I’ll cope. It’ll be fine.

IT’S BEEN A LITTLE WHILE SINCE JOHN SHUTTLEWORTH HAS BEEN OUT ON TOUR – SO WHAT HAS HE BEEN UP TO?
He has been up to… not a great deal, ‘cos he’s got a bad back… And that’s the premise of the show. That’s quite handy because it chimes with my own bad back. I guess gradually the character and I are coalescing.

ONE OF THE STRANGEST THINGS ABOUT WHEN WE WERE SETTING UP THIS CONVERSATION WAS REALISING I’D BE TALKING TO YOU – GRAHAM… AND NOT TO  JOHN HIMSELF… THAT GOT ME THINKING ABOUT THE IDEA THAT CHARACTERS CAN KIND OF TAKE OVER (OR OVERTAKE) THE PERFORMER… YOU’LL KNOW WHAT I MEAN, I’M SURE – WILLIAM SHATNER IS ALWAYS CAPTAIN KIRK AND… I DON’T KNOW… JOHN CLEESE IS ALWAYS BASIL FAWLTY… 
Yes. Well that may be true. I think I’m now slightly older than John Shuttleworth. I’m sixty. I can’t bring myself to put an age on him, to be honest, but he’s probably sort of late fifties I think. You have to remember when I started doing the character I was twenty-five and he was forty-six… I did a tour of myself last year – under my own name, I mean – which went down pretty well. I think with audiences it’s what they used to really isn’t it? Years and years ago when I first started doing John Shuttleworth people would be shouting out for Jilted John because they knew me as Jilted John. But I’ve made a career as John Shuttleworth so that’s what people are defining me as. I mean, it’s fine… I do get a bit fed up, though, because as much as I love him, it’s um, you know, just an act and I have to be funny and I’d rather be unfunny. I want to be deadly serious. I mean, I’m happy to put him on the line for two minutes or something, if you want?

I’M MORE THAN HAPPY TO TALK TO YOU, GRAHAM… I SORT OF HALF-EXPECT, WHEN I SEE A PERFORMER WHO GOES OUT ‘IN CHARACTER’, THAT BEHIND THE SCENES IT’S A WEIRD HINTERLAND OF A LIFE… A SORT OF EXTENDED EPISODE OF  TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT… HOW ‘INGRAINED’ IS JOHN? DO YOU FIND YOURSELF ‘THINKING LIKE HIM’?
We might share the same views on some things but I don’t know exactly what he is or who he is… But he’s not me.

DO YOU EVER FIND YOURSELF RESENTING HIM?
I think the reason I don’t really want to talk to you as John is because I’m doing this massive tour in character. It’s absolutely gruelling. I spend several hours a day playing him and I get just a bit fed up with it. As I said: I’d rather be serious… But he’s a funny character who is obviously much loved by a lot of people and I am really loving the affection for him that I’ve felt on this particular tour. The crowds are just fantastic and I can feel the… real waves of affection for this man.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
I think it’s partly because they’ve been coming to the gigs a lot of years. People come up to me and say “I first came in 1994” or “I’ve seen you eleven times”… and you go “Bloody hell, that’s amazing”… But it’s something I’ve created and it was based on a few different people, and by adding my imagination to that. And I’m glad I did that and have carried on, because it’s been my living and I’ve also created a lot of nice songs (that unfortunately John has to ruin with his croaky voice).

YOU SHOULD GIVE UP SMOKING…
Well, no, I have. I started vaping so I could stop smoking – so that my voice would be less croaky for John. I mean, I was basically trying to make sure the voice was right. I put out an album last year which is in my voice, my Graham Fellows voice. That’s much more sort of folky – ‘cos I really like folk music. But, going back to the difference between me and John, he doesn’t like folk music. Folk music encourages slovenly dress, you know… and people find that line very funny when delivered by John.

JOHN’S NEW BOOK – TWO MARGARINES AND OTHER DOMESTIC DILEMMAS! IS THAT A NOVEL, AN AUTBIOGRAPHY OR A LIFESTYLE GUIDE?
Well, that’s a very interesting question, actually… because when the publishers commissioned it I think they were looking for a sort of coffee table book. You know, a big hardback book selling at eighteen quid or something, and full of sort of little drawings and things. But as I wrote it I realised it was a novel. It was just sort of like a day in the life of John. And it was a paperback – and I wanted, and I fought hard for, it to be a ten quid paperback. Something people could just flick through and dip into now and again, and have by the bedside. Or it might even end up in the toilet… Not down the toilet… in the toilet. The room. And that is proving to be the case. The comments I’ve had so far (and it’s not even properly out yet – it’s published on the 20th of February) are people saying it’s full of little laughs and some big laughs. It’s got a lot of the song lyrics in it. I’ve written so much material as John Shuttleworth that it was hard to know where to start with it, really. So I guess I borrowed little bits here and there from episodes of the BBC Radio 4 thing The Shuttleworths. And in a way, it does probably read like a written down form of the fly-on-the-wall documentary The Shuttleworths. The other characters dip in here and there, but basically it’s a monologue by John.

I EXPECT IT WAS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT DISCIPLINE WRITING FOR JOHN IN THAT WAY, AS OPPOSED TO A LIVE SHOW?
Well, yes it was. It was slightly different. But sometimes I would actually just speak the words because it’s actually written on a dictaphone. John admits sort of part way through that he’s doing everything into a dictaphone because everything’s happening so fast. It is actually quite hard to capture the way he talks written down. When I do the radio series I have bullet points. Like: John goes in the kitchen. Meets Ken who’s eating an apple. John tells him off… So if you write that as a little scene it’s going to be different to if you actually have the characters improvising. When you write it with a pen – or typing as I was – it tends to get a little bit more wordy and probably it’s not as free and open and spontaneous. It’s bit more thought out and so the knack probably is to rewrite it to break it down and make it a bit more spontaneous and put it a bit more into it. Some of the Johnisms – like, you know “ooff” – that happens a lot, but you have to have just the right amount to make the writing feel very chatty and spontaneous.

THERE’S A SPECIAL SORT OF NAFFNESS TO JOHN WHICH MUST BE SO HARD TO GET JUST RIGHT?
[As John]: Naffness? Ooff… Quite offensive… Well, yes, I mean the naffness that you describe is something that John himself is totally unaware of. I guess that’s the root of the comedy. I’m just going through the act now because I’m going to make the show a little bit shorter for the rest of the tour. The second half’s creeping up to being over an hour and it’s knackering me, and I’m forgetting my words even more than I usually do. So I’m trying to trim out little bits here and there…

HOW’S THAT GOING?
Well, there’s a whole section where he dismisses opera and classical as being snooty, you know, and jazz and then he ends up with folk. Then he’s a bit embarrassed to say that he’s actually written a song in the folk style. [As John]: I tried to write it in country and western style but it came out as folk. I do beg your pardon… And then he plays the song and it’s called THE A1111, and it’s about the road that takes you to Sutton-On-Sea from Alford. It’s a song I wanted to write for years, ‘cos I saw the road sign and I thought “there’s a song there, surely?” – but it took me a while to come up with it… Erm… I’ve completely gone off at a tangent – and that’s what John does. But I guess that’s what people like, ‘cos they’re hearing how real conversations or real monologues go. In real life you’re meeting someone in the street, perhaps someone who’s a bit dodgy or a bit eccentric, and they’ll just completely go off on a tangent. I think people perhaps find that somehow quite comforting. Maybe it reminds them of their old uncle or something. They’d rather have that than a more polished or more traditional story with a beginning, a middle and an end. John’s stories veer off violently into cul-de-sacs. Then end abruptly.

YOU WERE BORN AND BROUGHT UP IN SHEFFIELD, AND WERE THERE ‘TIL YOU WERE ABOUT 18?
Yes, and I think 18 years was enough. I’d discovered Manchester when I was 17… I went to the Manchester Youth Theatre for a summer, and I just thought it was wonderful. It seemed quite hedonistic and quite decadent – but I suppose when you’re at that age everything does that’s different to the environment you’ve been brought up in. And so I couldn’t actually wait to leave Sheffield and get to Manchester. I was delighted when I got in to the Manchester Poly School Of Theatre. So when I was 18 I went off and did this three year drama course. Yeah, and so Sheffield… John is from Sheffield, and the things he talks about are all Sheffield references – but that’s more a kind of homage to my Dad than it is anything else.

YOUR DAD WAS A PHOTOGRAPHER…
Yeah, he was a professional photographer and he’d always come home and say “Oh I’ve been to Killamarsh and then I went to Eckington and then nipped down to Dronfield Woodhouse to take a picture there”… And it was all these wonderful place names that fascinated me. And “Oh yeah, I went out to Hathersage”, you know… Lovely names. It romanticised the area for me. So I think when I left and when I’d been in Manchester for a few years maybe I started to get nostalgic for Sheffield, or the Sheffield of my youth? So all of that certainly went into the creation of John Shuttleworth and his world. But now I live in Lincolnshire and have done for a long time, actually. And so the world I imagine John walking around is based much more on Louth than it is Sheffield.

IT’S INTERESTING WHAT YOU SAY ABOUT THOSE WONDERFUL SHEFFIELD AND DERBYSHIRE PLACE NAMES. RICHARD HAWLEY DOES A GREAT LINE IN REFERENCING THEM, AND IT FEELS RESPECTFUL AND REALLY ADDS A PHYSICAL SPACE AND A WEIGHT TO THE WORK, I THINK…
Yeah, that’s right. It does. She’s not that well known but have you heard of Nat Johnson & The Figureheads? She’s got a song called THE SEVEN HILLS or something and it name-checks Crookes and Broomhill and Walkley and all those places, those parts of Sheffield. She has a brass band playing as she sings it and… yeah, it’s quite romantic. It’s a lovely idea. The Americans have been doing that kind of thing for years, haven’t they? Just to an annoying degree? I think every song, you know, they just name-check counties and towns – and it seems to be that that’s how you define yourself in America. I think we do that sort of thing a lot less in England – but I guess that’s what Nat Johnson’s doing in that song and I think that’s what Richard Hawley does as well. They’re defining themselves. That’s what it is. They’re very proud of where they’re from being a huge part of who they are. I guess John does it because, going back to my Dad, he used to go on all the time about these places. Maybe I started doing it because I was missing my Dad? I mean, he’s not around now anyway, but it just seemed to be right for the character of John. But personally I’m probably much more sort of attached to areas around Louth in Lincolnshire. But I don’t go on about the place names. I think it’s just more of a character trait and despite that it sort of reminds me of my Dad.

… SO, YOUR STUDIES IN MANCHESTER… ACTING WAS THE REAL AMBITION?
Yeah… which was realised for a few years. I was an actor. And then I had my hit record, JILTED JOHN, in 1978 when I was still at college. But I didn’t really pursue that. I went back to college to finish my course and I was in TV and in rep theatre for a few years. But the songwriting bug had taken hold and in the end I was just more interested in writing songs than learning scripts. And so I think music did affect my acting career, definitely.

YOUR TIME IN MANCHESTER WOULD ROUGHLY COINCIDE WITH PUNK AND POST-PUNK… SO, BANDS LIKE BUZZCOCKS… DID YOU EXPERIENCE THAT MUCH?
I personally didn’t, particularly. But I did play some significant gigs. Morrissey’s first ever gig was supporting me. I did the very first gig at the Russell Club, which was the first home of Factory. There’s posters that show that. But I was actually just a vain drama student who’d written a parody of a punk song, and I was just trying to promote it. So that’s really my only real link to punk. I was fake. I was excited and I was a part-time punk, you know. I used to take my earring out at night. It was all very exciting, though, but I didn’t see it going particularly far. I remember Jimmy Pursey coming along with Sham 69 – two years too late, and just cashing in, I thought. Just completely cashing in with that sort of sound. I got it when Buzzcocks were doing it and I even got it when The Undertones were doing it ‘cos it just seemed believable, because maybe there was more of a teenage angst element to it. But when songs just became political rants I kind of lost interest a bit. I turned to things that were bit more interesting – The Only Ones and Jonathan Richman…

WHEN THE JILTED JOHN SINGLE WAS OUT… FORTY ONE YEARS AGO…
… My God, yes… Forty one years…

… YOU CAN’T HAVE IMAGINED YOU’D HAVE GONE ‘ON TOUR’ WITH IT FOUR DECADES LATER?
Well, no! But I did do… It was a lovely and enjoyable and totally financially unrewarding tour of JILTED JOHN to celebrate the 40th anniversary. We did about twelve gigs all around the country and it was actually great fun. At the time of the original record it was a half a million seller. It was a really big record, it was one of the big smashes of the summer of 1978, the summer of YOU’RE THE ONE THAT I WANT and all that. I guess it took everyone by surprise. And I just kind of… I don’t know… I don’t know. I just went straight back to drama school. It was like I was too cool about it. I think I probably should have taken a bit of time off from my studies and done a bit more promotion or whatever for the record, done a bit more with the whole thing, somehow. But I was a bit torn between thinking “should I exploit this?” and “this is just a novelty record and I’m never singing it again”. I think that’s the problem that I had.

YOU DID DO AN ALBUM…
Yeah, we disappeared into a studio and we did an album called TRUE LOVE STORIES. Martin Hannett produced that! Some people like it. Well, I like it now because because I’ve revisited those songs. It was quite moving to me to start learning those songs for the anniversary tour. Songs I’d written on a little guitar in a bedsit when I was eighteen. And I felt a little bit sorry for the eighteen year old me – but also I felt admiration. I wrote those songs in a hurry to try and fulfil an obligation with the record company to come out with an album. I’d written JILTED JOHN, and the b-side GOING STEADY, just as a laugh… but suddenly I was writing a concept album with lots of songs. Probably, with hindsight, I should have got some more help and taken longer. But at the time you just do things, don’t you?

HOW DO YOU THINK THE ALBUM STANDS UP NOW?
I think some of those songs are lovely, actually. And they are loved by men of a certain age. They came to those gigs not in massive numbers, but in enough numbers to make it fun. It was a real celebration of the songs I wrote when I was a teenager but they’re all blokes in their late fifties performing them… It was quite funny.

I REMEMBER SEEING YOU ON TOP OF THE POPS WITH THAT SINGLE, BACK IN THE DAY…
Well, yeah. I did TOP OF THE POPS three times – there were three different visits. I forgot my words (which has become a trademark for me over the years, forgetting the words). But, like John, I put that to great effect… I mess things up in gigs all the time. Not on purpose – I forget the words, I forget the chords. The audience laugh and tell me afterwards: “That bit was funny, the way you did that, very clever”… Thanks! But JILTED JOHN, yeah… It was good times. Good times. I was in every paper for a while – because if you had a hit record you ended up in just about every music publication. And then, of course, everyone moves on. And rightly so… So are we going to move on from JILTED JOHN?

THE TOUR THAT YOU DID A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO UNDER YOUR OWN NAME, GRAHAM FELLOWS… WHAT WAS THAT LIKE FOR YOU, TO BE ON STAGE BUT ‘OUT OF CHARACTER’..?
Well, I’d had a bit of training, in a way, because I’d made a couple of cheap films (that I’m quite proud of, though. Well, because they were cheap. I’m proud of them because they were cheap). One was called IT’S NICE UP NORTH and the other was called SOUTHERN SOFTIES. They were John Shuttleworth films and I toured them, sort of 2005ish. Anyway, we toured them round theatres and cinemas, and then I – Graham – would do a Q&A afterwards. So I got a bit more familiar with just chatting as myself. So when I did the Graham Fellows tour it was just an extension of that, really…. Can you hang on a minute..? My son’s just going out… He’ll be back in a bit, though. We’re going to the gym tonight. It’s a bit of father and son bonding… Will you leave this bit in?

HA HA, IF YOU WANT ME TO… BUT WHY?
… ‘cos it’s real. I like real things. I’ve noticed when I do gigs that real things, unplanned interruptions – if my mic falls off the stand or if I knock my bottle of water over or something – go down well… People seem to love that, they kill themselves laughing. Real things are what people really love in this over-manufactured and over-polished world of entertainment that we live in.

THAT’S ALMOST A PAUL McCARTNEY LYRIC…
Ha ha ha… [sings, as John]: But in this ever changing world in which we live in… Ha ha. I met Paul McCartney, of course. I was going out with his cousin, and so I met him somewhere and he said “keep writing those songs. It took me and John a long time to go anywhere. So keep writing those songs”… And I did take Paul’s advice. I kept writing those songs… And so, unfortunately, did he.

HA HA… WAS PUTTING THE GRAHAM FELLOWS SHOW TOGETHER A TOTALLY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE TO WRITING A JOHN SHOW, THOUGH?
Erm… In some ways, maybe, but I don’t think it was on the whole. When I was putting it together I was able to dip into a lot of my really rubbish showbiz stories, including meeting Paul McCartney. I was able, actually, to construct the show in quite a similar way that I would have done for a John Shuttleworth gig. Because, yeah, I guess I’ve been writing comedy now for over thirty years. But it’s, you know, keeping it within my world…

HOW MUCH OF A WORLD IS THERE, OUTSIDE OF THE CHARACTERS?
Well, I think the funniest passage of the show seemed to be when I was talking about becoming a milkman because I had a bit of a personal sort of crisis. My Mum died and my dog died when I was about 30. I’d started doing John Shuttleworth by then. I’d been supporting various bands. I even supported Robert Plant, would you believe? Jonathan Richman, I did a tour with him. This was, like, the late ’80s. That’s how far back John Shuttleworth was. And in those days I was playing along to a tape that I had inside the shell of an organ with lots of dancing toys. So it was quite a different kind of John show to what it became later and to what I do now. But, anyway, I ended up giving up, giving everything up. I was living in London at the time. I packed it all in because Mum had died and the dog had died and I’d just had enough of showbusiness. And so I became a milkman.

THERE’D BE PLENTY OF MATERIAL IN THAT…
Well, there was. I could talk about the training, for a start. We had a four week induction where there was a guy with a baton at a blackboard saying “Right, what’s the fat content of semi-skimmed? You…”, y’know. “Yep, that’s right. One-point-two”… Or “No, that’s wrong… Guess again”… People like it when you talk about things like that because it’s real life, you know. Even though it’s mundane there’s a sort of beauty and it’s sort of… relatable?

FUNNILY ENOUGH, LOU REED ‘PACKED EVERYTHING IN’ AT ONE POINT DURING THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, WHEN HE’D HAD ENOUGH… AS I UNDERSTAND IT, HE WENT OFF AND WORKED IN AN OFFICE FOR A YEAR.
Did he now? What a weirdo!

OBVIOUSLY HE DID GO BACK TO MUSIC…
Well, I stopped being a milkman because I didn’t get a single glimpse of negligee… Anyway, I enjoyed singing about those things. I had my harmonium. I played songs on my guitar and also the harmonium, I have a little pedal harmonium, which looks funny because I’m quite big. It looked tiny, and there’s my feet sort of pedalling away. After the Shuttleworth tour and a really good rest, I’m hoping to finish a film that I’ve been working on. I’ve got a lot of footage. Another cheap little film sort of about me and John, and about me having a place up in Orkney and trying to get an electric car up there. It’s about my dad as well, and about the environment. But I put it all on the back burner about five years ago when my dad passed away. But that’s the beauty of making your own little film. You’re not employing hundreds of people who suddenly get laid off. I just, you know, put my computer away. But I shall take it out at some point and the film will be finished. And then I’ll have something I can tour like a show, you know, in small theatres and cinemas and arts centres. And I’ll be back on the road. I just feel very lucky because I make my own things. I’m making sweaters or something, really, aren’t I? I’m making homemade sweaters and I’m selling ’em.

YOU’RE A REAL COTTAGE INDUSTRY…
I think I am, yeah. Yeah. That’s how I choose to see it. That’s the appeal for me, really. Having a book published is great, but we’re kind of selling it in a cottage industry kind of way. I keep ordering the books from the publishers and they send a couple of hundred out to me, and I I sign them and then my girlfriend sells them at the gigs after the show. I don’t know how many are going to end up in the book shops or… [As John]: In the Amazon rainforest you can get them, can’t you Graham? Is that right? That’s a little joke, too, there. That’s a dreadful joke, really, isn’t it? But I did try that one once.

SO, THERE YOU ARE… GRAHAM FELLOWS, MILKMAN… WHAT WAS IT THAT SWUNG YOU BACK INTO THE HEADY AND EXCITING WORLD OF SHOWBUSINESS?
Well, to be honest, what happened was I got the offer of a part in a play at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. That was too good to turn down. So I did that. And the guy – remember the guy at the Co-Op milk place… I’d been doing relief, it was in the days before people started buying their milk from supermarkets. I’d been doing other people’s rounds while they were away on holiday. When I handed my notice in he said “No, why are you leaving us? You were gonna get your own round next month. It’s all lined up. You’re a very silly boy”… But it was a good experience and it helped, in a way. I’m sure working in an office helped Lou Reed. You know, I kind of feel sorry for the Rolling Stones, in a way. Not very sorry. But if Mick Jagger had taken time out to be a postman or work on a lathe in a factory that might have informed some of the band’s later work. Perhaps it’d have made it better? To be honest, I think for anyone stay in the same thing, whatever that thing is, for many years is not very wise for your mental health.

SO I GUESS, IN A WAY, THAT’S PARTLY WHY YOU DEVELOPED THE OTHER CHARACTERS – BRIAN APPLETON AND DAVE TORDOFF..? TO GET AWAY FROM JOHN SHUTTLEWORTH WHEN YOU NEEDED TO?
[As Dave]: Dave Tordoff, laser screeder. From Goole. Well, yes, they were, actually. But what happened was I got a bit too bogged down with all the work required. Because I’m a I’m a lazy sod, basically. Well, I’m not that lazy, actually. But the amount of work I put into Brian Appleton – the research and everything… I had to read so many rock anthologies to get all these little nuggets and references right, these little stories of how he could have influenced rock stars. The sad postscript to Brian Appleton is that Chris Phipps, the guy who inspired it (the guy whose voice I nicked – completely with his permission, by the way) suddenly passed away last year. I’m actually next week doing a memorial concert for him up in up in Newcastle. I’m gonna come on as Brian and I think the premise is that Chris Phipps based his voice and mannerisms on Brian Appleton, ha ha… [As Brian]: That’s right, ‘cos he spoke just like me, Chris Phipps did… He nicked my voice. Very much so… Coming back to that thing you told me about Lou Reed, going to work in an office. You do get inspiration from real life. When you achieve some degree of success you’re not really going to get any inspiration from just lounging about in a posh hotel, are you? Judy Garland should have taken some time out, and gone and worked in a factory.

LAST YEAR MY WIFE AND I WENT TO A ‘ONE NIGHT ONLY’ SCREENING OF THE WIZARD OF OZ, PUT ON TO CELEBRATE THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FILM’S ORIGINAL RELEASE… IT WAS BEAUTIFUL – IT LOOKED FANTASTIC AND SHE WAS JUST GREAT…
Yeah, it does look fantastic, that film. It really does. And Judy Garland was brilliant.

I WENT ON A BIT OF A GOOGLE SESSION AFTER WE’D BEEN TO THE CINEMA, AND I WAS SHOCKED TO FIND OUT THAT WHEN JUDY GARLAND DIED (IN JUNE 1969) SHE WAS MORE-OR-LESS IN POVERTY. I LOOKED UP THE ADDRESS OF HER LONDON FLAT (WHERE SHE DIED) ON STREET VIEW TO SEE IF IT WAS STILL THERE. IT WAS… I EXPECTED SOMETHING QUITE OPULENT BUT IT WAS JUST… ABSOLUTELY ORDINARY AND REALLY TINY AND UNBECOMING. I COULDN’T BELIEVE THE BOOKENDS OF HER LIFE – THAT FILM AND ALL ITS OPTIMISM AT ONE END, AND THEN MISERY IN THIS TINY ‘NOTHING’ OF A FLAT DOWN A LONDON SIDE STREET…
Yeah, I know, I know. Very sad, that. Very very cruel. It’s not going to happen to me, though – ‘cos I’m doing a sixty date tour! It’s selling well everywhere, but funnily enough it’s not selling that well in Scunthorpe, for some reason. I don’t understand it ‘cos Hull always does welL. I think it sold out months before the gig – and so I thought everyone who couldn’t get tickets would go to Scunthorpe. [As John]: Ken told me he knows a man called Mr Thorpe. He claims to have put the Thorpe in Scunthorpe. Ken was chuckling as he told me. I don’t see anything funny about that, do you? 

 

John Shuttleworth plays Scunthorpe Plowright Theatre on Sunday 23rd February. Tickets here