I opened my inbox and found this message:
Alex, are you free (or at least cheap) on Monday to meet Mr. Fry?
See below from the bottom up so to speak.
I was staying at a friend’s house in New Cross. We had been very naughty the night before and my brain wasn’t working properly. I read the message again. It was undoubtedly an invitation to meet Stephen Fry at the Groucho Club. I started to tell everyone. Never before or since have I been so inundated with the phrase, ‘Oh my God.’ To have cocktails with Stephen Fry is impressive enough. To throw Sebastian Horsely into the mix is bordering on obscene. A bit of Fry and Horsley – I wondered how much people would pay for the privilege of being in such company. He had set up the meeting with an eye catching opening gambit.
I have a young spunky boy who’s dying to meet you. He is called Alex and is 21 and just at the dawn of his disasters. He came to one of my shows and writes but doesn’t look like a writer. Writers who look too much like writers may have to spend as much time doing the looking as the writing.
Stephen was responsive to the idea. Sebastian replied accordingly.
That would be lovely my dear.
I have invited him on the 15th but you may not be able to make that I guess if the Baftas waffle on as long as a sentence by Will Self. Monday at The Groucho would be lovely. Shall I arrange the date?
I confirmed that I would be more than happy to honour the invitation.
Hello my dear,
What is your mobile number?
Let me talk to Stephen tomorrow and come back to you. It will probably be early evening at the Groucho.
“A stylist must expect to be viewed if not with terror then with contempt”
He then forwarded me an unfavourable review of the play. His take on it was as follows:
My Dear Boy,
It is a really good sign. If reviewers are basing their criticisms on who you are rather than how you write, you are winning. A stylist must expect to be viewed if not with terror then with contempt. The aim of a stylist must never be confused with the desire to be popular. As you will find out, clearly marked personalities cannot be universally liked. I’m only upset that we get assassinated on the blog rather than in the magazine. That’s the indignity! Also, that he remembers meeting me coz I’m fucked if I remember meeting him! And it is he who is writing about us, not the other way round. It is us who have won. The play is sold out even last night.
“If you think I am going to be upstaged by a bunch of hairy men, caked in mud rolling around on the ground you’ve got another thing coming.”
Unbelievably we’re still full, even on an England night. If you think I am going to be upstaged by a bunch of hairy men, caked in mud rolling around on the ground you’ve got another thing coming. I’m only sorry that you saw it on the opening night.
Apparently the actor had transformed it. Strangers keep coming to my door. I can hear them talking about me in the street and the play. Most odd. Fan letters came through my door afterwards (from women) and two fans turned up at my door.
They came up for a drink. It was sweet. After seeing the actor they wanted to meet the unreal me.
“I was banned (for shooting up in the ladies lavatories and then telling everyone”
I am hoping to get murdered. Now, I have written to Mr Fry to suggest 7.00pm on Monday at the Groucho Club. I am presuming you are not a member, and I was banned (for shooting up in the ladies lavatories and then telling everyone) but I think the ban is no longer in effect.
I am presuming Mr Fry can get us in.
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Writer and Surrealist.
Literophone Operator : sit in a fluffy cubicle & be on the phone to poets.
Author of “Cured Meat: Memoirs of a Psychiatric Runaway” – Guardian Best First Book Nominations 2014.
Interpreter of Ancient Tales.