One of the best books I have read this year is Venus as a Boy by writer and musician Luke Sutherland. I heard the author on the radio a few months back talking about his the forthcoming adaptation of this extraordinary book. I was so enthralled by the story I bought the book and on Wednesday this week went to see the National Theatre of Scotland production at the Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow. This is part of the Glasgay festival.
The narration begins with the author being approached in London by a young boy Pascal, who asks Luke to record the story of his dying friend, Cupid. Cupid claims to have known the author in Orkney. After ignoring this plea Luke was surprised, when a couple of weeks later, he received a package containing tapes of Cupid’s story.
This is the tale of a boy with a gift of love. Through lovemaking he can offer the most miserable beings a glimpse into the wonders of heaven. The story follows him from his tortured childhood in Orkney to pot washing in Ullapool, where he discovers his gift. After a stint in Edinburgh he is forced into male prostitution in London.
The book is crammed with original observations and a poetic language that grasps the gut with its simplistic beauty.
The Tam Dean Burn’s stage adaptation is equally awe-inspiring. Mr Burn acts and directs and makes the piece his own. He relives the life of Cupid aided only by Luke Sutherland, the author himself, who performs his spine tingling score as accompaniment to the narration. Mr Burn’s performance, in the intimate Citizen’s Circle Studio, is exhausting and emotional to watch, he must feel wrecked after the hour and a half performance.
The Citizen’s run ends on the 10th of October. The production will then move to Liverpool.
New music and film (to me)
A new film ‘heima’ is released next week. The film features the music and artistic creations of Icelandic band Sigur Rós. I have been listening to downloads featured on their website all afternoon and am hooked – check them out!
I won’t have time to go see the film, which is screened at the Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), because I am off on holiday to my beloved Applecross, the place I fell in love with ten years ago and pilgrimage to every year.