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The Historic Asolo Theatre circa 1950

Next stop Sarasota

There's no stopping Living with the Tudors now ... the Blog from SXSW has hardly gone up before we're announcing our next screening. Sadly we won't be there to see this one, which is a shame as the historic cinema looks amazing ... still if you're near Sarasota book now!

Wednesday April 9th 6.00pm or Friday April 11th 6.00pm
Both at the Historic Asolo Theatre

You might even get one of our new 'Limning Badges' ... as they predictably arrived too late for our big fat SXSW Tudor party!

Johnny Hicklenton
Signing books and drawings at Austin Books

Here's Johnny

My last night in Austin this time round was the best, partly due to exhaustion-induced hairtrigger hysteria but mainly due to hanging out with the astonishing Johnny Hicklenton and his wife Claire, subjects of Animal Monday's compelling doc 'Here's Johnny'- which charts Johnny's traumatic struggle with multiple sclerosis over the last 12 years.

Johnny draws the character Judge Dredd for the cult comic 2000AD, and so as the disease takes its toll, the threat to his career and his sanity presses nearer and darker as it threatens to stop him drawing. In an odd echo, in our film 'Living with the Tudors' we meet a character for whom a serious accident jeopardised his sculpting career, though he miraculously overcame his incapacity to continue his work.
For Animal Monday (the directors) the film journey has been epic, starting as a fairly casual record of a friend's life and taking them on a 7 year journey together. The film avoids sentimentality because of Johnny's own at times brutal honesty about himself, and the humour is never far away as the charismatic Johnny 'narrates' past scenes with laconic observations on how fat / miserable he looks!
Presently Johnny's health is good due to a mere 2 and a half months on a new drug, which made it possible for him to leave the house for the first time in 5 years to visit SXSW.
Johnny possesses one of the sharpest senses of humour I've ever experienced, regaling me with incredible stories of 'behind the scenes at 2000AD' and making everyone in their hired SUV hysterical with his take on everything from obese Texans to crack deals.

Long may he continue to kick the ass of the disease he rightly describes as 'fucking mediaeval'.

Chubby frugger at SXSW

We tried to go see Brit band Black Mekon who one of Animal Monday knew, we missed them but enjoyed these guys and their lone fan.

Seamus in full swing with Marcus & I

Come and hear A Song for a Circus

As Karen travels back from Texas I have been preparing for projects closer to home, practising on my 'home-made double-bass' - fashioned (by Jan) for the Boundary Estate band from some rope, a large bucket and a bit of wood! It sounds remarkably good and if you want to hear me play it along with the rest of the band, this Saturday is your last chance ...

We'll be out playing in the Arnold Circus bandstand from 3.00 until about 4.00 (wind permitting), and then we have our last recording session in the big Club Row space at Rochelle. I will bring some cake, Tim will bring his headphones.

After this we will be working to finish the song and get a CD out to everyone who has played with us, the final version will be launched on the AGRIFASHIONISTA.TV site next month.

The Austin crowd say

Second screening rocks!

My sweltering days promoting the film in my 16th century costume were worth it! A not far off full capacity crowd made it to the cinema at 11am despite so many hangovers in the room you could smell the margueritas sweating forth.
What a mix of people too - all ages from teen girls with romantic ideas of English courtly love, to grandmas and beardy old Texan archaelogy fiends. Thanks y'all!

Me and Judge
keeping Austin weird

The past and the future

Adam Lavis of co-Britdoc-ers Animal Monday attempts to usurp my 1578 costume with his futuristic Dredd.
It certainly helped get us noticed in Austin Convention Centre...

Brits enjoying some internal networking

From left to right Kat Mansoor from Animal Monday, whose "Here's Johnny" is the other Britdoc supported film at the festival, Kat's very nice partner, a music journalist whose name eludes me, then Steve Rose of the Guardian newspaper, whose been blogging about the festival, kindly calling me a "Tudor damsel" and repeatedly sighting me with Judge Dredd aka Adam Lavis from Animal Monday (see pic on next entry!), so-dressed as their doc focuses on one of 2000AD comic's leading artists who has MS, then the tireless Charlotte Dale of Britdoc who had allowed colleague Maxyne Franklin to party out of sight by this point in the night but still managed to pull our flyers from her bag for anyone showing a glimmer of interest.
The cheek on the right belongs to the 'Mondays Will Hood, with whom I enjoyed discussing green architecture earlier that evening, as we screeched over Moby's opening set at that night's party.

Spot the Tudor flyer

No not a form of 16th levitation.
I was at the screening of 'Second Skin' - a doc about diehard online fantasy / warcraft gamers who develop bedsores from 16 hrs stints at the PC (ok I am making that last bit up). Review - pretty good but too long, it was edited by its director (always risky) and there's only so many talking heads of fat Americans you can take when they're not Roseanne or Homer Simpson. I recalled the words of my editor Doug "Always remember that Stanley Kubrick died editing Eyes Wide Shut himself".
Anyhow, I drifted in the Q & A and spied my flyer in the clutches of the girl in front of me. Tudors wear a 'Second Skin' too I guess...

At the Alamho cinema
say cheese

SXSW premiere audience

Texas Renaissance folk
..adding some colour to the party

Toto, I don't think we're in Kentwell any more

Well, the morning rain - brought specially from England by myself- cleared in time for the Tudor party in the park! The Californian mead was not to everyones taste but slipped down well with anyone from the 16th century...
The lovely members of the Texas Renaissance Festival who had driven a long way to get to us beguiled the partygoers with their bejeweled costumes and English accents (which were very 1940's Montgomery Cliff style), though that Ann Boleyn (second from left in the picture) would never have gone out without a hat- as any Kentwellie would tell you........!

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