Wednesday, 14 July 2010

prepared to love

Here you go.

The second of five dialogues on sex originally premiered at Latitude Festival:

You can listen here to listen on iTunes 

Or click here to download.

prepared to love

I knew that it was about really deserving it so therefore

I deserved /

Top notch. You know? /

And did you get it?

At the age of 42, Adrian decided it was about time he had penetrative sex. So he saved up £500 and hired a male escort for just one night. What he got was an experience he’ll never forget.

An important additional note that explains itself I hope.

I met Adrian in 2009 when he agreed to be in The Author, a play by Tim Crouch that I was co-directing at the Royal Court in London.

Truth was Adrian didn’t really enjoy the experience of being in the show. So he said he’d rather leave the company and let us re-cast his part for the touring version.

Adrian knew he had his own thread of work to continue; work based on extreme intimacy, real trust and demonstrations of love towards total strangers. The Guardian called him “a pioneer, who created intimate performances of unabashed honesty and generosity that were not just made for the audiences, but actively invited their physical and emotional participation.” For me – it’s simpler than that. Adrian just met you. He met you. Wherever you were. He met you in the richest possible way you can imagine that to mean.

It was during rehearsals for The Author but more especially perhaps in that conversation about leaving the show that Adrian and I realised we had something profound in common: a desire to be courageous in our conversations. To talk about the difficult things even though they might sting a bit, or break a bit or hurt a bit. So when it came to looking for people to talk about intimacy, love and sex for a series of podcasts I was doing, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to ask Adrian if he’d like to have a conversation with me, about some of the things that we’d maybe not talked about, even though we knew they were there. And that’s what we did, on May 10th 2010.

We met in a friend’s writing studio and gave ourselves permission to say anything. “It’s all allowed” was Adrian’s mantra. And we stood by that I think. We laughed together, cried together and fell silent together.

Our friendship grew or deepened perhaps as a result of this conversation which went on for a maybe two hours - there are chapters still of Adrian’s life I haven’t edited or shared. But he was very moved by the idea that that people might hear this part of our conversation and consider for themselves what intimacy, closeness, love even really mean to them.

I saw Adrian several times after our conversation. We relaxed in France together. We sat on steps together in London and talked about future projects. And finally, we sat outside a café in Edinburgh in the summer of 2012 when he said he found himself enjoying the Festival for the first time, because he was there as an audience member; there was no pressure to perform. We joked, giggled, listened and talked, hugged and said goodbye.

A few months later, Adrian decided to take his own life. No note. No final message. Just an exit. I suppose he had reached a moment of despair that he just couldn't see ending. And so he took his mantra and extended its reach. He gave himself permission to take himself away. And he is missed. Sorely. But his legacy of love, tenderness and generosity will live on in everyone he touched for a long time to come.  

These conversations are indeed intimate, honest and (given the subject matter) sometimes explicit and graphic in terms of content. Our recommendation is that they should not be heard by children but by adults only, young and old alike.

No comments:

Post a Comment